NewsRussia silences opposition: Journalist Yekaterina Duntsova disqualified as presidential candidate

Russia silences opposition: Journalist Yekaterina Duntsova disqualified as presidential candidate

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Images source: © GETTY | Contributor
3:17 AM EST, December 24, 2023

The disqualification bars Duntsova from running against Vladimir Putin as a representative of the opposition to the war in Ukraine, as reported by Reuters.

A stand against dictatorship

The Central Election Commission unanimously rejected Duntsova's candidacy, alluding to "numerous violations" within the documents she presented in support of her candidacy.

Critics of Putin maintain that this decision reveals that no one with truly dissenting views will be able to run against the existing leadership in the first presidential elections since the 22-month war began.

According to the Kremlin, Putin is set to win, as he possesses genuine public support, with public opinion polls around 80 percent.

Forty-year-old Duntsova posted on her Telegram channel that she would challenge the CEC's decision in the Supreme Court, condemning the disqualification as "unjustified and undemocratic".

"You are a young woman, you have great prospects"

"This political decision deprives us of a fair representation and an opportunity to express divergent views from the official, aggressive discourse," she stated.

Ella Pamfilova, the chairwoman of the election commission, sent Duntsova what she described as "words of consolation".

- "Every setback can be converted into a stepping stone. Every experience remains a learned lesson," said Pamfilova.

"When Duntsova announced her intention to run last month, commentators described her as being either crazy, courageous, or part of a plan conceived by the Kremlin to simulate competition," Reuters reported.

- "Any reasonable person who decides to embark on this journey would be fearful, but we can't let fear triumph," Duntsova expressed in a November interview, pushing for the release of political prisoners and acknowledging that Russians are "extremely weary" of the conflict in Ukraine.

Navalny has vanished, no recent contact

As the 71-year-old Putin maintains complete control over the power mechanisms, supporters, and opponents alike presuppose that he will commence a new six-year term. If successful, this will make him the longest-serving Russian ruler since the 18th century, outlasting all Soviet leaders, including Joseph Stalin.

His recognizable rival, Alexei Navalny, is serving prison sentences amounting to over 30 years, and his supporters claim that they are unaware of his whereabouts, after information was received about his transfer from the previous penal colony at the start of the month. The last contact with Navalny was on December 6, according to his lawyers.

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