Legal Case of the Week: Constitutional Court refuses to hear Aleksei Navalny's complaint over election ban

posted 22 Jan 2018, 06:44 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 22 Jan 2018, 08:20 ]

On 19 January 2018, the Constitutional Court refused to consider a complaint brought by opposition politician Aleksei Navalny concerning the ruling by the Central Electoral Commission on 25 Decemer 2017 that he cannot run in the presidential election to take place in March this year because of an unspent 
criminal conviction. As RFE/RL has reported, Ivan Zhdanov, the lawyer acting for Navalny, said the complaint "charged that laws on Russia's presidential election contradict the country's constitution." Navalny claims that the conviction was politically motivated and unlawful, being based on fabricated evidence. 

In other developments this week, as OVD-Info has reported, Navalny's campaign activists came under pressure in a number of regions:

"In Pskov. the FSB ordered that leaflets be seized from the local [Navalny] campaign headquarters. In Murmansk, 10,000 leaflets were seized and the campaign coordinator arrested. In St. Petersburg a volunteer was summoned “for a chat" about leaflets that had been sent to Murmansk. Police visited the Navalny campaign headquarters in Penza (where leaflets were also seized), Novgorod and Cheboksary. During the seizure of leaflets in Penza, police taped over two closed-circuit video cameras on the premises. Police also seized Voters’ Boycott leaflets in Kaluga, Smolensk, St Petersburg and Izhevsk. The Navalny campaign’s Samara headquarters was trashed by police, who of course also seized leaflets there."

Furthermore, on 15 January, the Justice Ministry filed a lawsuit with a Moscow court to close down the Fifth Season of the Year Foundation, which, as RFE/RL reports, is "the legal entity that officially employs workers of Navalny’s campaign offices across Russia, receives financial contributions from supporters, and concludes lease agreements and other deals on behalf of Navalny's campaign."

'Russian Court Refuses To Hear Navalny's Election Complaint,' RFE/RL, 19 January 2018
'OVD-Weekly Bulletin No. 38,' Rights in Russia, 19 January 2018
'Police In Russia Harass Navalny Supporters, Seize Leaflets,' RFE/RL, 18 January 2018
'Russian Authorities Seek Closure Of Key Navalny Campaign Foundation,' RFE/RL, 15 January 2018

Photograph of Constitutional Court by A.S.Savin via Wikipedia