Opposition on the rise? – Russians line up for Putin opponent Nadezhdin

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The presidential candidacy of Russian war opponent Boris Nadezhdin is unexpectedly attracting great interest. Long lines of citizens formed in several cities who wanted to help the opposition candidate to stand as a candidate.

“We are currently collecting about 15,000 signatures per day,” Nadezhdin said in an interview on YouTube on Tuesday. It is of course still uncertain whether he will actually be registered by the electoral commission as a candidate for the elections on March 17.

The signature hurdle will likely be cleared soon
According to Nadezhdin’s campaign website, his supporters had collected more than 100,000 signatures by Tuesday morning. The Central Election Commission demands 105,000, which must be collected in various regions by January 25. A maximum of 2,500 signatures are counted per region.

According to reports, the 60-year-old has already found significantly more followers in the metropolises of Moscow and St. Petersburg. But long queues are now also increasingly reported in other regions. People in Yekaterinburg and Krasnodar filmed themselves queuing to support the liberal’s candidacy. Many Russians who fled abroad also signed Nadezhdin’s electoral list.

However, there have also been reports of disruptions in signature collection. In Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Obninsk, the politician’s election workers were briefly taken away by police.

Companion of the murdered Nemtsov
As a liberal member of the Duma in the 2000s, Nadezhdin was close to opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, who was assassinated in 2015. In recent years, Nadezhdin has also stood as a candidate for parties close to the Kremlin. He recently caused a stir with his criticism of the war in Ukraine. Almost all politicians who have made similar statements have now had to leave Russia or are in prison.

Putin’s ‘fatal mistake’
Nadezhdin, who was nominated for the elections by the Citizens’ Initiative party, recently repeated his criticism in a debate with journalist Julija Latynina on YouTube. “The first thing I will do: I will call for peace and an end to mobilization,” Nadezhdin said. He had previously described the offensive in Ukraine as a “fatal mistake” by Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin. Russia needs a “new president”.

The elections in Russia are accompanied by accusations of fraud and manipulation. In the past, opposition members have repeatedly been denied candidacy on the grounds that the signatures they had collected were incorrect. In December, for example, critic Yekaterina Duntsova was thrown out of the race before being officially registered. Observers have no doubt that Putin, who has been waging war against Ukraine for almost two years, will secure his fifth term this spring.

Source: Krone

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