Alexey Navalny Overcomes the Municipal Filter

July 8, 2013
Russian corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny Photo: AFP

[Oppositional leader Alexey Navalny, now awaiting a verdict in the “Kirovles case,” intends to run for mayor of Moscow. Below, his candidacy receives a small boost in gaining the requisite signatures from municipal deputies. — Ed.]

Not only Alexey Navalny has organized an active campaign to collect signatures from municipal deputies. As Ekho Moskvy learned today, Moscow members of United Russia have done analogous work. They were able to obtain the necessary 110 signature sheets. This information was confirmed by both Irina Belykh, secretary of the political council of the Moscow city branch of United Russia as well as Aleksey Shaposhnikov, the chair of the Council of Moscow Municipalities in the capital. According to Irina Belykh,  the other candidate, acting city boss  Sergei Sobyanin asked to ensure competition in the coming elections and supported the candidacy of Alexey Navalny from RPR PARNAS [Republican Party of Russia-People’s Freedom Party]. This request was able to be fulfilled within three days.

In other words, Navalny himself gathered a significant number of the signatures for nomination, but United Russia members ensured him the additional ones needed “for insurance.”  In an interview with Ekho Moskvy, Navalny explained that he does not consider this a gift. In his opinion, Sobyanin was forced to neutralize the “municipal filter” [the electoral requirement that candidates gather signatures from existing deputies] under public pressure, and that is why he ordered municipal deputies to give their votes to other candidates unrelated to those in power.  He also emphasized that his campaign staff continue to gather signatures and that he would take from the United Russia group of signatures only those still needed for registration.

We will recall that in order to register as a candidate in the mayor elections in Moscow, the signatures of 110 deputies from 110 districts must be gathered. Independent candidates also need to obtain the support of 70,000 residents of Moscow.