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Moscow Court Rejects Opposition Politician Yashin's Appeal Against Ban From Municipal Election

Ilya Yashin attends a court hearing in Moscow on August 16.
Ilya Yashin attends a court hearing in Moscow on August 16.

MOSCOW -- The Moscow City Court has rejected an appeal by opposition politician Ilya Yashin against multiple election commissions' refusal to register him as a candidate in the September 8 municipal elections in the Russian capital.

The court ruled on August 16 that decisions by regional and federal election commissions to deny Yashin registration as a candidate were legal.

Yashin was brought to the hearing from jail, where he is serving a 10-day term for violating regulations on holding public events.

Yashin has alleged that the decisions by several election commissions to not register him were politically motivated.

Election officials have refused to register the candidacies of dozens of independent and opposition politicians, including Yashin, on the grounds that they failed to obtain the required number of signatures. In many cases, the authorities said that signatures presented were invalid or falsified, an allegation that many potential candidates say is not true.

Only one candidate who was denied registration, Sergei Mitrokhin of the Yabloko party, has managed to be registered, following an appeal in court.

Several sanctioned and unsanctioned rallies have taken place in Moscow in recent weeks in which protesters have demanded that independent and opposition candidates be allowed to run in the upcoming municipal elections.

Police detained more than 250 people following the latest rally, on August 10, which was the fourth consecutive weekly demonstration and the first to include "solidarity" rallies in other Russian cities, including St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.

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