A group of 37 CEOs and entrepreneurs from Russian internet companies and start-up businesses have announced their supporting opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s bid to become mayor of Moscow.
Business’s backing for Navalny at the upcoming election, at which he is aiming to unseat incumbent Sergey Sobyanin, is expected be logistical as well as financial, according to a “social contract” signed by the business leaders and published by Navalny on his blog Wednesday.
Such situation can be named unique for the modern political situation in Russia, as many Russian businessmen now avoid backing the opposition fearing that any association with the political opposition could mean negative consequences for their businesses. The most obvious example is billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky who was jailed in 2003, and his oil company Yukos broken up after his intention to make a political career as an opposition leader.
The 37 signatories to the document include Dmitry Navosha, director of sports website sports.ru, the founder of Russian online trading platform Wikimart.ru Kamil Kurmakayev, recruitment firm HeadHunter president Yury Virovets, and Shakhar Vaiser, who set up Get Taxi, an online taxi ordering company based in Moscow.
“We expect Navalny to defend the rule of law, support independent courts and ensure that officials are really accountable before society,” the business leaders stated in the contract.
Moscow's mayoral election will take place on September 8. Acting Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin, who is supported by the ruling United Russia party, is the clear frontrunner in the race according to recent polls. He receives a great informational support from Russian TV and press, as well as Kremlin’s top politicians, which is not comparable with the support the other candidates receive.
Author: Julia Alieva