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Half of Yabloko Nominees Banned

Local election officials have banned about 45 percent of the candidates nominated by the liberal Yabloko party for the March regional elections, compared with 0.8 percent for the ruling United Russia, Kommersant reported Thursday.

The Liberal Democratic Party and A Just Russia each had 6.1 percent of their candidates removed, while the Communists lost 5.3 percent, the daily said, citing data from the Central Elections Commission.

The Patriots of Russia — a nonparliamentary party like Yabloko — lost 20 percent of its candidates, and 14.6 percent were culled among the independents.

Some 20,400 mandates will be up for grabs, including 12 regional legislatures, during the vote on March 13.

The regions to elect legislatures are Kaliningrad, Kirov, Kursk, Nizhny Novgorod, Orenburg, Tver and Tambov, as well as the republics of Komi, Dagestan and Adygeya, and the Chukotka and Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous regions.

United Russia has successfully nominated a total of 20,300 candidates. The Communist and A Just Russia parties boast about 3,700 candidates each, the Liberal Democrats have 3,300, and the other parties have less than 1,000 nominees each. There are also more than 20,000 independents.

Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin has filed a complaint with Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin, Gazeta.ru reported Thursday.

Vote-related issues are normally dealt with by Central Elections Commission — which reported receiving more than 200 complaints, according to Rossiiskaya Gazeta — but President Dmitry Medvedev advised party leaders last month to contact his office directly in case of election violations.

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