moscow - Russian opposition leader Alexej Navalni has been nominated by his supporters as presidential candidate, even though he does not stand a chance. The authorities refuse Navalni to participate in the elections on 18 March because he has a criminal record. Nevertheless, so-called initiative groups came together in twenty cities, from Vladivostok to Moscow, to support the candidacy of the anti-corruption activist.
President Vladimir Putin stands up for his fourth term in March. As an independent candidate, he needs 300,000 signatures. His initiative groups meet Tuesday to arrange statements of support.
The Moscow supporters of Navalni gathered on a beach in the city on Sunday. Approximately 750 people showed up there. Navalni said he would immediately hand in the report of the meeting and the wishes of visitors to the Central Election Commission. He owes his conviction to a controversial fraud case from 2012.
According to a civil rights portal, the security forces let Navalni supporters go anywhere. Only eleven people were stopped at the meeting in South-Russian Astrakhan.