Putin opponent Alexei Navalny blocked from running for president as court upholds ban

Navalny will be barred from running for office for a decade

Alexei Navalny was found guilty of embezzlement in December

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Russian opposition figurehead Alexei Navalny has been barred from running for president against Vladimir Putin after a court upheld an earlier decision against him.

The Kirov Regional Court upheld verdicts against Navalny and his supporter, businessman Peter Ofitserova, according to Interfax.

The verdict reinforces a decision reached in February, which found Navalny guilty of embezzlement and Ofitserova of abetting the crime. At the time Navalny argued that this verdict was a word-for-word repeat of an earlier verdict against him, passed in 2013.

The latest decision means Navalny will be not be entitled to run for president for the next 10 years. However he maintains that the Russian Constitution would not prevent him from mounting a campaign, as only those who are actually in jail are theoretically banned from doing so.

Navalny, a prominent blogger and activist, enjoys huge support among Russian people but he has been arrested several times for his troubles.

In March he played a leading role in a massive demonstration in Moscow against government corruption, and was fined for doing so.

A full rundown of his rap sheet can be seen here.