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Russian anti-war presidential candidate Nadezhdin loses 2 appeals against his disqualification

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 16, 2024 10:23 AM 2 min read
Boris Nadezhdin talks to an AFP reporter by his campaign posters from past regional elections at his flat in Dolgoprudnyy on Jan. 24, 2024. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images)
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The aspiring Russian anti-war presidential candidate Boris Nadezhdin lost two legal challenges to his disqualification by Russia's Supreme Court, all but ensuring his inability to participate in the upcoming presidential election, Nadezhdin said on Feb. 15.

Nadezhdin was the only potential candidate to openly speak out against Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine. He had his hopes to be registered on the ballot dashed earlier in February when Russia's Central Election Commission ruled that too many of the signatures he collected in support of his candidacy were invalid.

Following the election commission's decision, Nadezhdin vowed to fight on, but he acknowledged after the most recent setback that his chances of running in the election scheduled for March 15-17 had dropped "completely to zero."

While Nadezhdin was never expected to have a real chance at winning the election, his disqualification left only three other candidates remaining, none of whom are expected to openly challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin's position on the war.

All three candidates are under international sanctions for backing the full-scale invasion.

Despite his inability to participate in the election, Nadezhdin said that his short-lived campaign had nonetheless made an impact.

"We have opened up a great breach, we have shown that a huge number of people in the country do not support the course that is being implemented now, a huge number of people want Russia to be peaceful and free," he said.

Putin is widely expected to handily win a fifth term in office in the upcoming elections.

Russia held a rigged vote in 2020 to approve constitutional amendments allowing Putin to run for two more presidential terms after his current one expires in 2024. The vote effectively made Putin, who has been in power since 1999, a dictator for life.

Freedom House, a nonprofit advocating international democracy, gave Russia a 0/4 score in its 2023 report card on political freedoms in the country.

"Russia has never experienced a democratic transfer of power between rival groups," described Freedom House.

Any meaningful opposition is prevented from having a fair chance at winning elections, creating "an authoritarian political system (that) is concentrated in the hands of President Vladimir Putin," the human rights group said.

Short-lived rise of Boris Nadezhdin, Putin’s ‘anti-war’ opponent
Russian elections are usually predictable and dull affairs. The outcome is known beforehand since the Kremlin handpicks all the candidates, has total control over the media and also rigs the votes. Despite this, there has been an unexpected flurry of activity in the run-up to the March 15-17 presi…
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