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在线翻译:
szdaily -> World
Putin seals re-election nomination
    2017-December-28  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

VLADIMIR PUTIN was formally nominated as a candidate in next year’s presidential elections as the Kremlin rejected suggestions that barring his most serious rival from the ballot would undermine the vote’s legitimacy.

Putin, who announced his intention to run for a fourth term as president of Russia earlier this month, was formally endorsed by 668 supporters at a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday.

The announcement came a day after Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner viewed as Putin’s most credible political rival, called for a boycott of the March 18 poll after he was denied registration by Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC).

Navalny was nominated by a congress of supporters Sunday, but immediately denied permission to proceed with collecting signatures to confirm his place on the ballot because of a criminal conviction for fraud that he says is politically motivated.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, appeared to warn that Navalny would face criminal investigation over his call for voters to stay away from the polls.

He added that Navalny not running “cannot in any way undermine the legitimacy of the vote,” but his calls to boycott it are to be investigated for “being or not being in accordance with the law.”

Putin, who appeared for a televised walkabout with children visiting the Kremlin’s Christmas tree Tuesday, was not present at his own endorsement meeting.

However, the president may find the time to personally apply for registration with the CEC, Peskov said. “We haven’t ruled it out,” he told reporters Tuesday.

After filing for registration, Putin’s campaign will have to collect 300,000 signatures of voters who support his candidacy, since he is running as an independent candidate and not on a party ticket.

Ksenia Sobchak, another opposition candidate, was given a green light by the CEC to proceed with gathering signatures in support of her candidacy Tuesday.

Sobchak, a socialite-turned opposition journalist and the daughter of Putin’s political mentor Anatoly Sobchak, is running as the candidate for the Civic Initiative political party.

As a party candidate she only needs to gather 100,000 signatures to confirm her place on the ballot.

Sobchak said in an Instagram post Tuesday that the CEC not registering Navalny was “enormously unfair and yet another mistake by the authorities.”

She invited Navalny to endorse her candidacy and become her “envoy” in the race.

“I’m urging all democratic opposition forces to unite. If I get on the ballot, I propose Alexei Navalny become my envoy,” Sobchak wrote under a photo of her and Navalny smiling at each other.

Sobchak added that “boycotting the election is ineffective and harmful. It won’t lower the turnout — it will even increase the number of the votes cast for Putin and will allow him to get the 70 percent he desires.”

(SD-Agencies)

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