Putin’s critic barred from contesting Russia election

Dec 26, 2017, 5:22 AM EST
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been convicted on embezzlement charges.
(Source: Michael ChUv/flickr)

The Central Electoral Commission in Russia formally barred opposition leader Alexei Navalny from contesting the country’s presidential election scheduled for next year, on grounds of corruption conviction.

Navalny, who has been a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, called the decision politically motivated, urging his supporters to boycott the polls, which he says, will feature the government’s personally selected candidates, notes the BBC.

Chances that Navalny would beat Putin in March vote are slim, however, the leader claims he could win a fair election as the president’s support is “exaggerated and artificially maintained” by a biased state media, writes Reuters.