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Navalny Bill to Ban Officials Luxury Cars Gets Online Support

A bill proposed by opposition blogger Alexei Navalny to ban officials from buying cars worth more than 1.5 million rubles ($45,500) has gained the required 100,000 online votes needed to send it to the government for discussion, Digit.ru reported on Wednesday.

Navalny's bill was the first to win popular support among several draft laws proposed by Russian citizens on the Russian Popular Initiatives (ROI) web portal.

Navalny's bill gained 100,291 votes by the time the web portal posted statistics for the opposition blogger's initiative. The bill was put to the vote on April 5.

Russian citizens' proposals posted on the ROI web portal have the status of "popular" initiatives. If an initiative gains at least 100,000 votes from citizens in a year, it must be submitted to the government to study and decide whether to introduce it to parliament.

Navalny, who has led large-scale street protests in Moscow against President Vladimir Putin, is currently on trial on charges of stealing $500,000 worth of timber from state-run lumber company KirovLes.

His trial, which is now entering its final stages, is being held in the provincial city of Kirov — some 800 km from Moscow — where Navalny was working as an advisor to the Kirov Region's governor when the alleged embezzlement took place. Navalny denies the charges and claims they are politically motivated revenge for his anti-corruption activities.

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