Moscow: Russia has labeled the United States’ comments on the rejection of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny’s presidential bid for March 2018’s polls, as “meddling in the Russian elections”.
“This statement by the US Department of State, which I’m sure will not be the only one, is a direct interference into the electoral process and the state’s domestic affairs,” the Russian news agency TASS quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.
According to TASS, the U.S. State department expressed concerns over Russia’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC)’s decision to prohibit Navalny from running for president in 2018 due to his criminal conviction.
On Monday, the CEC said it would not register Navalny’s initiative group for his self-nomination in the presidential election due to his unspent conviction.
“First of all, a citizen convicted to imprisonment for committing a grave or especially grave crime and has an unspent conviction for this crime on the voting day does not have a right to be elected as president,” commission member Boris Ebzeyev said.
Navalny, who announced his intention to participate in upcoming presidential elections in Russia as an independent candidate, submitted the needed papers to the CEC on Sunday.
He has repeatedly announced plans to run for the presidential post in 2018.
However, CEC Chair Ella Pamfilova said, “Navalny was ineligible to run because of a corruption conviction, and that he could join a presidential race only after 2028 in accordance with the Law on the election of the President of the Russian Federation.” Nevertheless, she also noted that the CEC reviews documents of all applicants.