The head of the Russian opposition political party Civic Initiative says the country's Supreme Court has suspended its operations for politically motivated reasons and is looking to wipe the party out altogether.
Dmitry Gudkov said on Facebook that on January 14 the court suspended the party’s activities for three months in what he said was the first step towards its full "liquidation."
According to Gudkov, the court's decision was based on a request by the Justice Ministry that found "technical irregularities" in the party's activities.
Gudkov wrote that the ministry itself creates obstacles to the party to remove such "irregularities," including the process for electing party officials.
The party was founded in 2013 and was initially led by the former Economy Minister Andrei Nechayev.
The Civic Initiative nominated its candidate, Ksenia Sobchak, to run in the 2018 presidential election. Sobchak got less than 2 percent of votes in the balloting.
Gudkov and Sobchak announced in 2018 that they plan to create a new political party, called the Party of Changes, which would stem from Civic Initiative, in order to take part in 2021 parliamentary elections.