MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's elections commission says a prominent opposition leader will be disqualified from running for president in March.
Russian news agencies quoted elections commission secretary Nikolai Konkin as saying Tuesday that the body would formally block Grigory Yavlinsky from the ballot later this week, after finding that hundreds of thousands of the signatures submitted on his nominating petition were invalid.
Yavlinsky is leader of the liberal Yabloko party and a critic of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is seeking a return to the presidency in the March 4 election.
On Monday, Yavlinsky said authorities wanted to prevent him from running in order to block genuine competition. he says other candidates are only nominal rivals and are following Kremlin guidance.