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Communist Party plans pickets across Russia after election officials reject Pavel Grudinin’s State Duma candidacy

Source: Open Media

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KRPF) has announced plans to hold countrywide pickets in response to election officials barring former presidential candidate Pavel Grudinin from running in the upcoming State Duma elections, reports the Russian news website Open Media.

Election officials removed Grudinin’s name from the KPRF’s federal list on July 24, on the grounds that he allegedly owns a stake in a company in Belize and failed to mention it on his asset declaration. Grudinin has denied the allegations and insists he hasn’t held any bank accounts or assets abroad since he was nominated as a presidential candidate in 2018. 

The deputy chairman of the party’s Central Committee, Vladimir Kashin, told Open Media that pickets are planned for July 30 and 31, as well as August 1. The KPRF also plans to seek permission to hold rallies on August 14 and 19, and on September 1. “If the rallies are not authorized, then we have working mechanisms to get around these bans. There will be Reds in the cities,” Kashin said.

Kashin added that the demonstrations aim to maximize public awareness of the situation surrounding Grudinin’s candidacy, as the KPRF plans to lobby for returning his name to their ticket. “We will go out to support Grudinin, but not only him — there are other comrades of ours who the authorities are putting up spoilers against. We’ll support them too,” Kashin said.

Pavel Grudinin was the Communist Party’s candidate for the 2018 Russian presidential election — he won 11.77 percent of the vote. 

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