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A prominent opposition activist and public figure in Russia's Altai Krai region, Aidar Kudirmekov, has fled the country in fear for his safety.

Kudirmekov told RFE/RL on June 3 that he had obtained asylum in a European Union country, but he did not name it due to security concerns.

Kudirmekov said he decided to leave Russia after local authorities began investigating him on suspicion of financial fraud charges in May and started the process of forcibly placing him in a psychiatric facility.

He told RFE/RL those actions were politically motivated retaliation for public statements in which he accused local authorities of corruption, embezzlement, and an incompetent response to heavy flooding in the Altai Krai earlier this year.

In April, a local court stripped Kudirmekov of his mandate on the Kyrlyk village council, citing inaccurate information on his 2016 income declaration.

Kudirmekov said at the time that the court decision was also politically motivated.

Former Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa (file photo)

Near-final results in Slovenia’s parliamentary elections put a right-wing, anti-immigration opposition party led by a former prime minister far ahead of the field of competitors.

The State Election Commission said on June 4 that with 90 percent of the ballots counted, Janez Jansa's Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) had about 25 percent of the vote, giving it 25 seats in the 90-member parliament.

Comedic actor and politician Marjan Sarec’s center-left independent list trailed in second place with 12.7 percent and 13 seats.

Three parties -- the Social Democrats, the Modern Center Party of outgoing Prime Minister Miro Cerar, and the Left -- had around 9 percent each.

If the results stand, it would mean no party will secure a majority in the 90-seat parliament and the likely next step is negotiations to form a coalition government. However, other parties have suggested they would not form an alliance with the SDS.

The only party that has indicated it will work with the SDS, the center-right Nova Slovenija, won seven seats, still leaving a potential coalition short of the 46 needed for a majority.

In a televised statement after the vote, the 59-year-old Jansa said his party's "door for talks and coalitions is open" to all other parties.

Jansa previously held the office of prime minister during 2004-08 and 2012-13. He is an ally of Hungary's anti-immigration Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

"Thanks to its [immigration] policy, Hungary is a safe country, while Belgium, due to its wrong policy, isn't," Jansa tweeted recently.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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