Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been barred from running for presidency in Russia’s 2018 election because he is currently serving a suspended sentence.
Russia’s Central Election Commission made the announcement in a statement published on Friday, saying that Navalny was not eligible to stand for office because of currently serving a five-year suspended sentence for embezzlement.
“According to available information, on February 8, 2017, Navalny A. was sentenced under… the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation to five years of imprisonment with a fine of 500,000 rubles [$8,400], the sentence was suspended with a probation period of 1 year 5 months. Thus, at the moment A. Navalny does not have the right to be elected,” the statement said.
The electoral body said that embezzlement charges fell into the category of a serious crime and individuals convicted of such crimes could not stand for public office until 10 years after their sentence ended.
Rejecting the ruling, Nikolai Lyaskin, Navalny’s campaign manager, claimed, “According to the constitution, any citizen who is not in prison is eligible to stand for public office.—Agencies