St. Petersburg deputy Maxim Reznik calls off re-election campaign due to house arrest
Maxim Reznik, a prominent opposition politician in St. Petersburg, who is currently under house arrest, has announced that he will not be running for re-election to the city’s legislative assembly in the fall.
Reznik was detained on drug possession charges on June 17 and subsequently placed under house arrest until August 16, pending trial. His arrest came the day after city officials called elections to the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly.
In a statement published on Telegram on July 20, Reznik explained that the investigator handling his case has twice refused him permission to meet with a notary, thereby preventing him from registering his candidacy for the election. “The punishers leave me no chance to collect signatures in support of my self-nomination,” the legislator said, adding that he doesn’t have time to challenge the Investigative Committee’s refusal.
Reznik also noted that the Yabloko party declined to nominate him on their ticket unless he collected the necessary signatures. The politician’s campaign team then decided to collect 5,000 supporting signatures in less than three weeks, securing the necessary funding and finding volunteers. “The nomination seemed difficult, but possible: we had time. But it’s been taken away too,” Reznik said.
“I’m convinced that the desire to take revenge and prevent me from participating in the elections in any way [possible] comes from [St. Petersburg Governor Alexander] Beglov personally. Cowards don’t tolerate criticism, they don’t tolerate disagreement, and since they can’t win in an honest way, they resort to repressions. The criminal case and [my] arrest the day after the elections were called speak for themselves.”
Maxim Reznik is one of the most prominent opposition politicians in St. Petersburg. He has been openly critical of Alexander Beglov ever since he became head of the city in 2018.
Reznik stands accused of purchasing 18.2 grams (0.64 ounces) of marijuana “for personal consumption.” The opposition politician denies the charges. If found guilty of drug possession, he will face up to three years in prison.