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Constitutional Court Could Allow Ex-Convicts to Run in Elections

The Constitutional Court could amend a law banning former convicts from running for office, Interfax reported Thursday.

A mid-2012 law bans felons from ever running for public office, a measure critics say unfairly targets opposition activists that have been convicted in politically motivated cases.

According to the law, opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was found guilty of embezzlement in July this year, would not be allowed to run in future contests if his conviction is upheld on appeal.

Several plaintiffs complained about the law after their candidacies in regional elections last year were denied because of past convictions. In the complaint, the candidates said that banning them from running for public office is illegal because it punishes them twice for their felony.

They also said that the law is unjust because it ignores the circumstances surrounding an individual's conviction and bans people with an expunged or suspended conviction from politics.

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