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Navalny Says Putin Obstructing His Election Campaign, Plans To Sue

Russian opposition activist Aleksei Navalny (file photo)
Russian opposition activist Aleksei Navalny (file photo)

Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny says he will sue President Vladimir Putin and his administration over what he called a coordinated effort to thwart his campaign for the March 2018 presidential election.

Navalny wrote on his website on November 1 that in recent days, authorities across Russia have refused to let him and his team organize public meetings with voters.

Navalny said he has no doubt that the obstacles are being "coordinated" personally by Putin, asserting that the president is concerned by the numbers of people attending his rallies.

He also said his staff would start holding campaign meetings on private land to avoid the need to obtain permission from local authorities.

Navalny is campaigning for the election in defiance of officials who have said he is not eligible to run because of a felony embezzlement conviction that he says was politically motivated.

Putin, who has held power as president or prime minister for 18 years, has not announced his candidacy but is widely expected to seek a fourth Kremlin term.

His control over the levers of power would make his reelection a foregone conclusion.

Navalny, who has riled the Kremlin with reports alleging corruption in Putin's government, received 27 percent of the vote in a Moscow mayoral election in 2013.

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