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Hopeful Putin Challenger Asks Top Russian Court to Overrule Ballot Block

Boris Nadezhdin. Boris Nadezhdin / Telegram

Pro-peace presidential hopeful Boris Nadezhdin announced Monday that he has filed two lawsuits with Russia's Supreme Court challenging the decision by election authorities to bar him from running in the March presidential race.

Russa’s Central Election Commission (CEC) voted unanimously Thursday to disqualify Nadezhdin over alleged errors in thousands of signatures endorsing his candidacy. 

“Real people provided signatures supporting me,” Nadezhdin wrote on the messaging app Telegram, as he and his campaign team arrived at the Supreme Court around noon Moscow time on Monday. 

Nadezhdin said his team filed two lawsuits so far, both challenging the technicalities cited by the CEC in its decision to not register his candidacy.

The pro-peace politician said his team needs “more time” to file the third and main lawsuit against his disqualification. 

“To challenge the denial of my registration, we need to contact thousands of citizens across Russia,” he wrote, adding that the third lawsuit would likely come before Feb. 16.

Independent election watchdogs have said Nadezhdin’s challenge stands little chance in court.

Nadezhdin, who has spoken out against the war in Ukraine, has seen a surge of support over the past month.

Sources have told The Moscow Times that long lines outside of his campaign offices, where volunteers helped gather thousands of signatures in support of his candidacy, came to “irritate” the Kremlin, which ultimately ordered the CEC to reject his candidacy.

The Kremlin itself has said it does not view Nadezhdin as a rival to President Vladimir Putin, who is widely expected to win his fifth overall term in office.

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