Russia's Constitutional Court ruled that legislation that bans people convicted of serious crimes from ever running for election must be immediately changed.
The court's ruling on October 10 could allow jailed Kremlin foes eventually to seek office. The change comes days before a court is to hear outspoken Kremlin critic and popular blogger Aleksey Navalny's appeal against his conviction on a theft charge that he says is Russian President Vladimir Putin's revenge for his activism.
Navalny came second in Moscow's mayoral election last month and has aired presidential aspirations.
Another Kremlin foe, former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was convicted of grave financial crimes in two trials denounced by supporters as a Kremlin campaign to punish him for challenging Putin and to tighten control over the oil industry. He is due for release next year.
Based on reporting by Interfax and Reuters