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Elections 2012: Two Opposition Candidates May Be Withdrawn from the Polls
23.01.2012 15:35
Elections 2012: Two Opposition Candidates May Be Withdrawn from the Polls
Grigory Yavlinsky

According to the Central Electoral Committee, two independent candidates who were planning to run for presidency at March 2012 candidates may be withdrawn from the lists due to excessive errors in the signature lists of their supporters.

      The candidates are Grigory Yalinsky (Yabloko Democratic Party) and Dmitry Mezentsev who is presently the head of Irkutsk Region. As the Russian media report, the errors became apparent at the submission stage. Grigory Yavlinsky was only allowed to register 2mln 86 thousand signatures; Mezentsev's list of supporters shrunk by 60 thousands, from 2mln 66 thousands to 2mln 6 thousands. The procedure of ascertaining the legitimacy of signatures follows two stages. At the first stage, 20 per cent of signatures are examined for fraud and errors. If selection contains at least 5 per cent of either, another 10 per cent is examined. If the overall percentage of fraudulent or incorrect data in two selections exceeds 5 per cent, the candidate is withdrawn from the electoral race.

      The final decision will be taken on January 25th. Yavlinsky's representative has admitted that there could be a certain percentage of incorrectly filled signature forms. At the same time, Yabloko's official website explains the upcoming decision in terms of political power struggles. The analysts believe this is merely a manoeuvre to eliminate any Kremlin-unfriendly candidates from the race. The decision to squeeze out Yavlinsky also has to do with the fact that Yabloko was one of the staunchest supporters of legitimacy at the State Duma elections, fighting against the fraud.

      Interestingly, Mikhail Prokhorov also had a significant percentage of errors in the signature forms at the submission stage: the list of signatures diminished from 2mln 79 thousands to 2mln 41 thousands. However, the overall percentage of incorrectly filled forms is less than 5 per cent, whereby Prokhorov has officially been registered as a candidate. This only reaffirms some analysts' assertion that Mikhail Prokhorov is merely a Kremlin-controlled figurehead, designed to serve as a quasi antidote to Mr. Putin.

      Source:, Yabloko. Image courtesy: World News Inc.

Author: Julia Shuvalova

Tags: Russian politics Elections 2012 Grigory Yavlinsky   

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