Blogger Navalny to Be Nominated as Moscow Mayor Candidate

MOSCOW, June 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s opposition blogger Alexei Navalny is soon to be formally nominated as candidate for Moscow mayor by the Republican Party of Russia – People’s Freedom Party (RPR-PARNAS), Ekho Moskvy radio said on Sunday.

“I have asked by colleagues to nominate me. They discussed everything and took the decision. I am thankful to them. This nomination will be soon legally formalized,” Navalny told the Ekho Moskvy radio.

Ekho Moskvy radio’s editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov said Sunday the party’s bureau has “unanimously” decided to nominate Navalny for Moscow mayor, but the final decision will be taken by the party’s Moscow department, said the party co-chairman Vladimir Ryzhkov.

Boris Nemtsov, who also leads Russia’s RPR-PARNAS party, said earlier he shared Navalny’s ideas for reforms in Moscow, including the budget transparency, suggestions on traffic problems and utilities system.

Navalny, a vocal Kremlin critic who led some of Moscow’s massive 2011-2012 street protests against alleged electoral fraud and the rule of President Vladimir Putin, is currently on trial on charges of heading a criminal group that investigators say embezzled 16 million rubles’ ($500,000) worth of timber from state-run company Kirovles in central Russia’s Kirov Region in 2009.

He and his former political ally, Kirov businessman Pyotr Ofitserov, face up to 10 years behind bars if found guilty of the charges, which they deny.

Outgoing Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, appointed in 2010 by then-President Dmitry Medvedev, announced on Tuesday that he would resign. The next day, President Putin accepted his resignation and appointed him acting mayor.

The poll due on September 8 will be the Russian capital’s first direct elections for Mayor in a decade.


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