Regional officials have refused to register Alexander Shestun, the jailed head of Moscow’s Serpukhovsky district, as a candidate for re-election. According to the chairman of the regional election board, Shestun violated regulations by financing his signatures-collection drive with money outside a formal election fund. Shestun’s wife will be running in his place.
On June 14, police arrested Alexander Shestun on charges that his business illegally acquired 10 hectares (about 25 acres) of local land from the state in 2010. In early July, Shestun complained in a letter to Central Election Commissioner Ella Pamfilova that pretrial detention staff were preventing him from filing the paperwork necessary to run in September’s district elections. Shestun says the detention center guards started treating him with respect, only after Pamfilova intervened on July 4, stating that they must provide him with the documents needed to register his candidacy.
In April 2018, Shestun addressed a video to Vladimir Putin, claiming that Governor Andrey Vorobyov was threatening to confiscate his home and put him in prison, if he didn’t resign. Vorobyov supposedly wants him out because Shestun opposes the transformation of the Serpukhovsky district into a municipal precinct and he objects to further waste shipments from the city to Serpukhov’s over-capacity “Lesnaya” landfill.