“AThe signatures have been delivered,” said a member of the Electoral Commission, according to a France Presse journalist at the scene.
Nadezhdin, who advocates an “end” to the offensive in Ukraine and who condemns Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian tendencies, has attracted unexpected interest in recent days, with tens of thousands of Russians coming together to support the opposition candidacy.
“We did it!”, stated the opposition candidate on the digital messaging channel Telegram, which also released images showing the boxes with signatures collected since January 8th.
The 60-year-old liberal candidate collected more than 200,000 signatures, double the minimum required (100,000) to register a presidential candidacy.
Nadezhdin managed to present the signatures after receiving the support of the opposition in prison and exile and promising to “stop Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine”, the first point of the election manifesto.
Boris Nadezhdin considered the start of the war in Ukraine a “fatal mistake” and stated that he intends to become president to make Russia “great, peaceful and free”, although he stated that he is not willing to return to Kiev the territories annexed by the Army Russian.
The signature collection campaign became the first legal and massive demonstration of disgust against the war since the conflict began in February 2022.
However, analysts and opponents believe that Nadezhdin has little chance of being registered, as the presidential administration fears that he will unite all those dissatisfied not only with the war, but also with the Kremlin’s authoritarian drift.
The chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC), Ela Pamfilova, has in the past rejected the registration of opposition candidates critical of the Kremlin for unfounded reasons.
On Monday, the CEC registered the candidacy of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, as an independent, had to present 300 thousand signatures.
Although he publicly assured that he would not run again, Putin, 71 years old, changed the Constitution in 2020 to allow re-election, and he could run again within six years and, thus, remain in the Kremlin until 2036.
According to official polls, Putin is expected to win the vote with more votes than in 2018.
So far, the CEC has registered four candidates: Putin, communist Nikolai Kharitonov, ultranationalist Leonid Slutsky and New People’s representative Vladislav Davankov.
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