Alexey Navalny says nearly everyone on the March presidential ballot cheated to get there
On February 6, Russia’s Central Election Commission finalized the ballot for the March 18 presidential election, determining that six candidates collected the necessary number of endorsements to stand for office (in addition to the two candidates, the Communist Party’s Pavel Grudinin and LDPR’s Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who didn’t need to submit signatures). Of the six candidates who needed endorsements, everyone except Vladimir Putin needed to bring in 100,000 signatures (as an “independent,” Putin needed 300,000).
A day before the ballot was finished, Alexey Navalny tweeted that all the candidates falsified most of the signatures they submitted, claiming that Yabloko’s Grigory Yavlinsky faked 60 percent of his endorsements and “all the rest (including Ksenia Sobchak)” counterfeited 99 percent of their signatures. When Yabloko’s office in Novosibirsk accused Navalny of discrediting the work of thousands of signature-collectors across the country, Navalny fired back: “There are no thousands of signature-collectors and you know it.”