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Opposition politician Ilya Yashin steps down as district council head citing pressure from prosecutors

Source: Ilya Yashin

Oppositionist Ilya Yashin has resigned from his post as head of the council of deputies for Moscow’s Krasnoselsky municipal district. 

On July 12, Yashin wrote on Facebook that he’s stepping down because in addition to election officials refusing to register his candidacy for the upcoming Moscow City Duma by-elections, the municipal district he represents has come under increased pressure.

“The prosecutor’s office shakes up the accounting department and the office with endless checks [...] I believe the prosecutor’s office is fulfilling a political order that’s linked with my opposition activities,” Yashin said.

“I wouldn’t want to leave ruins behind me. I think it’s important to deflect pressure from the municipality and preserve the chance for my team to win the next municipal election, which will take place in the fall of 2022.

Therefore, today I wrote a letter of resignation as head of the district. At the end of the month my vacation will end, after which I will remain an ordinary municipal deputy.”

The new head of the Krasnoselsky municipal district will be elected on July 27. Yashin said that his team will nominate municipal deputy Yelena Kotyonockina for the post.

“I think we’re setting a good precedent. Politicians shouldn’t cling to their seats, but support rotation,” Yashin said.

In late June, election officials in Moscow refused to register Ilya Yashin’s candidacy for an upcoming by-election for the Moscow City Duma, citing his links to opposition politician Alexey Navalny and a new law that prohibits anyone with recent connections to “extremist” organizations from running for elected office. The Moscow City Court designated Navalny’s campaign offices and Anti-Corruption Foundation as “extremist” on June 9.

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