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Opposition figure Lyubov Sobol not to run in 2021 State Duma elections

Source: Lyubov Sobol

On June 14, Russian opposition figure Lyubov Sobol, who works for Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), announced that she has stopped campaigning to be nominated as a candidate in the upcoming State Duma elections.

In an announcement posted on Facebook, Sobol said she was ending her run for parliament because of the Russian authorities’ decision to outlaw the FBK as an extremist organization. Sobol underscored that because of this designation, she wouldn’t be able to ensure the safety of her supporters and campaign team.

“In the current conditions, when criminal cases are opened for collecting donations to fight corruption or simply for taking part in peaceful protests — that’s to say, in fact, for disagreeing with the illegal actions of the Kremlin — I can’t ensure the safety of my volunteers, employees, and donors during the election campaign. The state will have all of these people’s data.

Therefore, despite the incredible support of the people [who] formed my headquarters, the hundreds of volunteers, the presence of an organizational structure, and a clear advantage over my rivals, I have to stop my campaign for the State Duma because of the recognition of the FBK as an extremist organization.”

Sobol also wrote that the results of polling among Moscow residents showed that her activities have a higher approval rating than those of candidates from the ruling United Russia party. Sobol claimed that this is why the Russian authorities adopted a law prohibiting people linked to extremist organizations from standing for elections, and subsequently outlawed the FBK as an “extremist” group. 

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