Photo: EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV
Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has found fault with 15.3% of the signatures submitted by anti-war politician Boris Nadezhdin in support of his candidacy in next month’s presidential elections, Nadezhdin’s headquarters announced on Monday.
“We do not agree with the working group’s decision. The whole world saw that we collected signatures honestly,” a spokesperson for the campaign wrote, referring to the widely-reported scenes of people waiting in line for hours last month to add their signatures in support of his nomination.
The findings mean that Nadezhdin is unlikely to be registered as a presidential candidate. A final decision is due to be made at a CEC meeting on Wednesday.
A candidate nominated by a registered political party that is not currently represented in the Russian parliament requires 100,000 voter signatures to qualify as an official presidential candidate.
For a presidential candidate to be registered in Russia, a maximum 5% of the submitted signatures of support can be found to have discrepancies. Nadezhdin submitted 105,000 voter signatures to the CEC for its consideration on Wednesday.
Shortly afterwards, Russian state media began to suggest that “flaws” had been found in the signature submission. On Friday, CEC deputy chairman Nikolai Bulayev said that the commission had found “surprising errors” in the signatures for both Nadezhdin and the Communist Party nominee, Sergei Malinkovich.
“A question hangs over the ethical standards used, including by signature collectors. To an extent, the candidate is directly involved in this,” Bulayev said, without specifying which of the two politicians he was referring to.
Nadezhdin has been summoned to a meeting at the CEC on Monday ahead of its final decision on his candidacy on Wednesday.