Central Election Commission Refuses to Register Nadezhdin for Russia Presidential Election

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Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) refused to register politician Boris Nadezhdin as a presidential candidate. This decision was made at the CEC meeting on Thursday, 8 February, which Nadezhdin personally attended. More than 5 per cent of voters’ signatures collected to support his nomination, namely 9,147, were found invalid. At the same time, they recognized 95,587 signatures as valid, a CEC representative said at the session. Data of 11 deceased people were found on the signature lists, the commission added. Nadezhdin intends to appeal the decision in the Russian Supreme Court. “I do not agree with the Central Election Commission’s decision. I collected more than 200,000 signatures across Russia. We conducted the collection openly and honestly - the queues at our headquarters and collection points were watched by the whole world,” the politician said in Telegram. On 5 February, the CEC rejected more than 15 per cent of signatures submitted for Nadezhdin’s nomination as a candidate for the highest state office. To be registered, the verified signatures must have no more than 5 per cent rejection rate. The legislation requires a presidential candidate nominated by a non-parliamentary party to collect at least 100,000 signatures across Russia. On 6 February, Nadezhdin’s headquarters defended dozens of signatures for his nomination, which the Central Election Commission had earlier invalidated because of own mistakes, the politician told the Agency project. According to Nadezhdin, hundreds of signatures were rejected because of incorrect addresses and passport numbers. Nadezhdin believes that the CEC might have made mistakes during their digitization. “If you can scan Rostov-on-Don as ‘Rostov at home’, then in the passport number, when it is scanned and recognized (by the program. - Ed.), you could see “3” when it was “5”, the handwriting is different,” he explained. Most of the rejected signatures needed a more complex verification, the politician said. The headquarters is now calling people whose signatures aroused the CEC’s suspicion. “We are concentrating on Moscow, writing out everyone and trying to reach them. We will try to prove that these people really exist,” Nadezhdin said.