Russian Law Must Keep Extremists Out of All Elections

Supporters and members of “extremist and terrorist” organizations will soon be banned from running in any election in Russia.

 

According to the Russian state news agency TASS, this is stated in an amended bill from the party of President Vladimir Putin.

The amended law means that supporters of the imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny are not allowed to stand for election at all. The opposition accuses the ruling party of introducing the new law for its own gain as a way of staying in power.

On Tuesday, the lower house approved an earlier version of the bill that only concerned parliamentary elections.

A court would determine next month whether Navalni’s organizations can be classified as extremist. But at the end of April, authorities already listed his regional network of campaign offices as extremist and terrorist organizations without the intervention of a judge. Navalny is also leading an anti-corruption movement targeting senior government officials.

With the introduction of the law, members of Navalny’s organizations can be banned from participating in elections and Russians who have expressed support for Putin’s prominent opponent or donated money to one of his organizations.

The next Russian parliamentary elections will take place in September.

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