This week, Moscow’s election commission published a list of candidates they had allowed to register to run for the city legislative assembly on September 8. The glaring absence of any viable opposition candidate on the list sparked protests in the city.
Local election legislation requires independent candidates to collect signatures from at least 3 percent of eligible voters in their election district to be eligible to run. If the commission rejects less than 10 percent of the collected signatures, the candidate is put on the ballot.
However, Moscow’s commission rejected more than 10 percent of signatures collected in support of all prominent opposition candidates with credible chances of winning. Grounds such as alleged misspelling, wrong addresses, or similar errors, or mistakes in the candidate’s election account data were used. In other cases, based on handwriting analysis, authorities alleged signatures were faked or argued that the signatories weren’t on the official lists of voters.
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