The elections commission in Kostroma has registered three opposition candidates in the race for city council. This makes Kostroma the only Russian region that has not banned the opposition from running in local elections.
According to Elections Commission Chairman Vasily Dolgiy, three representatives of Parnas (the People’s Freedom Party), will run for local parliament: businessmen Alexander Konkov and Sergei Babkin, as well as Nikolai Sorokin, the leader of Kostroma’s Parnas chapter.
“The elections commission working group has verified the documents provided by the candidates, and did not find any violations. We did not have any grounds for barring [the candidates from elections],” said Dolgiy.
The Russian opposition has put forth candidates for 2015 regional parliamentary elections in Kostroma, Kaluga, Magadan, and Novosibirsk regions. In most of these regions, opposition candidates are running as representatives of the Democratic Coalition, an alliance between several opposition groups (Parnas, Alexei Navalny’s Party of Progress, the Democratic Choice Party, the 5th of December Party, and the Libertarian Party). In Kostroma region, candidates are running as representatives of Parnas, the People’s Freedom Party.
The elections commissions of all regions but Kostroma have barred the opposition from elections.
Earlier, Kostroma elections officials recommended removing the opposition's candidates from the race because they had allegedly fallen short of the minimum required number of signatures in support of their party. The elections commission reviewed the recommendations and ruled that they were unfounded.
Elections will take place on September 13, 2015, on Russia's general Election Day.