Russia: Anti-War Candidate Disqualified From Presidential Election

  • Russia's Central Election Commission on Thursday ruled that Boris Nadezhdin, an anti-war legislator, does not qualify for next month’s presidential election after deeming that too many of the signatures Nadezhdin's campaign submitted were invalid. Associated Press (LR: 3 CP: 5)
  • Per the election authority's rules, a candidate whose political party is not represented in parliament must gather at least 100K signatures from supporters. However, the Commission deemed that the Moscow area legislator did not legitimately fulfill the criteria. Euronews
  • An independent candidate from the Civic Initiative Party, Nadezhdin received nearly 105K signatures; however, the Commission determined that 15% of the signatures were invalid, leaving him with only 95,587 legitimate signatures. In addition to falling short of the 100K threshold, Nadezhdin was also disqualified for having more than 5% of his signatures invalidated. CNN (LR: 2 CP: 5)
  • Critics say Nadezhdin's disqualification is a sign of Pres. Vladimir Putin's intolerance of criticism of the Ukraine war, and Nadezhdin says he will appeal his removal after the Commission declined his request to postpone the decision. In December, a fellow antiwar politician, Yekaterina Duntsova, was disqualified from the ballot over problems with her paperwork. Associated Press (LR: 3 CP: 5)
  • In addition to Putin, who is overwhelmingly likely to secure his fifth term in office, the March 15-17 election will include Leonid Slutsky of the Liberal Democratic Party, Vladislav Davankov of New People, Nikolay Kharitonov of the Communist Party. TASS
  • Nadezhdin is currently a councilor from the Dolgoprudny area, and he has been a longtime critic of Putin. He will receive a final decision on Saturday regarding his appeal, but the Commission has been clear on its stance. BBC News (LR: 3 CP: 5)

Pro-establishment narrative:

  • Despite claiming to have the overwhelming support of the Russian people, Vladimir Putin is clearly scared of any legitimate opposition. That's the only reason his electoral commission would disqualify Boris Nadezhdin from next month's presidential election. Everyone knows that Putin will imprison or even kill his political opponents, so it's no surprise he made sure that Nadezhdin couldn't run. Regardless, Putin’s support at home and abroad is crumbling as people realize the scale of his authoritarian ways.
    POLITICO

Establishment-critical narrative:

  • Boris Nadezhdin failed to qualify for ballot access on multiple grounds and was not allowed on the ballot — it's really that simple. While some anti-Russian and pro-Western forces may try to spin this situation as an authoritarian conspiracy, this is not the case. Russia will hold its fair and free election with four candidates next month, and the people will decide who is in charge of their nation, regardless of the whims of the so-called "rules-based international order."
    RT (LR: 3 CP: 1)

Nerd narrative:

  • There is a 50% chance that Vladimir Putin will cease to hold the office of President of Russia by Oct. 2028, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
    METACULUS (LR: 3 CP: 3)
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