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Navalny (Really) Can't Run for President, Russia's Prosecutor General's Office Says

Alexei Navalny / Moskva News Agency

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is definitively barred from running in next year’s presidential elections, Russia’s Prosecutor General's Office said in a meeting with journalists on Tuesday.

Navalny has been unable to register his candidacy for elections in March 2018 due to a prior conviction which his supporters say is politically motivated. Even so, he has campaigned widely in Russia’s provinces and was recently detained for organizing unauthorized election events.

Larisa Kopteva, the head of the civil rights department in the Prosecutor General's Office, cited federal law to explain why Navalny was barred.

Due to Navalny's suspended sentence of five years imprisonment in an embezzlement case, the opposition leader cannot run in any election at any level, she said.

Earlier in October, the head of Russia's Central Elections Commission Ella Pamfilova said Navalny could only run in 2028, after his sentence expired.

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