Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday promulgated a law banning members of organizations classified as extremists from running for future elections, a requirement that is likely to be met in the case of people close to opposition leader Alexei Navalni.
The measure will come into force when it is published, as recorded in the official legislative portal, which in this way concludes some procedures that, as the penultimate step, the Bundesrat – the upper house of parliament – had its approval by a large majority on Tuesday.
Navalni’s organizations are in the crosshairs of the authorities due to the recent massive anti-government mobilization, so in principle they will be the main victims of a reform that appears to be tailored to hypothetical electoral challenges.
The law banning leaders and founders of extremist organizations from running for five years. For the rest of those associated with these groups, the veto will rule for three years, reports the TASS agency.
The text also sets out the criteria by which someone is presumed to be associated with these organizations and opens the loop to those who have been able to promote or publicly support their goals, both orally and through internet publications. In such cases, the decision rests with the judiciary.
Government pressure on Nawalni and those around him has increased since the opposition leader returned to Moscow in January after spending several months in Berlin recovering from poisoning he suffered on Russian territory in August 2020.
Upon his return, Navalni was arrested and a court ruled that he must be sent to prison to serve a 2014 fraud sentence as he was prevented from completing parole conditions just outside the country to avoid prison terms was intended.