Sergei Sobyanin Asked for President’s Permission to Run

August 20, 2013
Владимир Путин и Сергей Собянин. Фото: Глеб Щелкунов / Коммерсантъ

Alexei Navalny has accused the acting mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, of failing to have an important document, a signature from the President which would allow Sobyanin to run for mayor despite the fact that Sobyanin resigned the post.

Meanwhile, new allegations are being thrown at Navalny that his campaign received illegal funding. Navalny has disputed these claims again. Similar claims were made, and denied by Navalny, last week. – Ed.

Alexei Navalny, a candidate for Mayor of Moscow from RPR-PARNAS intends to petition the court to cancel the registration of the Acting Mayor, Sergei Sobyanin. Mr. Navalny argues that the Acting Mayor has not received a written consent from President Vladimir Putin to participate in the election, as required by law. It is necessary because Mr. Sobyanin resigned before his term expired. At Sobyanin’s headquarters they told “Ъ” that the candidate had received the written consent of the President. At the same time, law enforcement authorities once again claimed that Alexei Navalny’s campaign is illegally financed from abroad. His campaign headquarters denies the charges.

The candidate from RPR-PARNAS Alexei Navalny will ask the court to disqualify the Acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, unless Mosgorizbirkom (Moscow City Election Commission) publishes the President’s consent for Sobyanin to participate in the election. According to Article 32, section 5.3, of the Law “On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights …”, “a citizen of the Russian Federation who occupied the office of the top executive of a subject of the Russian Federation… with the consent of the President of the Russian Federation may be nominated as a candidate in the elections, if the elections are held in connection with the early termination of their term of office of their own accord. The Electoral Code of the City of Moscow contains a similar provision (para. 8.3, Article 28).”

According to Mr. Navalny, he had “carefully examined all the recent acts issued by the Kremlin and signed by Putin,” but had not found a consent to the nomination of Sergei Sobyanin. Moreover, “quite a while ago” Ivan Buzin, a member of the Moscow City Election Commission (MCEC) in an advisory capacity on behalf of Navalny submitted a request to the MCEC Secretary Yuri Ermolov to provide a certified copy of the document confirming the president’s consent for the Acting Mayor to participate in the election. The Election Commission did not respond to Mr. Buzin within the statutory five-day period. Mister Buzin was unavailable for comment. The capital’s electoral commission stated that Sobyanin had submitted all the required documents.

At the campaign headquarters of the Acting Mayor they told “Ъ” that “on June 5, Sergei Sobyanin submitted an application to the President for his consent for Sobyanin’s nomination as a candidate, and the President signed the document.” The press service of staff assured “Ъ” that the document “had passed through the presidential office and had been filed with the MCEC.” However, the campaign headquarters of the candidate does not intend to publish the document, as “there is no such legal requirement, and the original application is with the Election Commission.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Navalny himself is suspected of breaking the law. The Ministry of Interior announced today that Mr. Navalny’s associate, Konstantin Jankauskas “transferred 1 million roubles to the candidate’s account” using his Yandeks.Money account. That, according to the law enforcement agencies, was done from “a foreign IP-address.” In addition, law enforcement officers have been “informed that other activists supporting this candidate are also participate in a similar scheme.” Earlier, following similar claims by the head of the Prosecutor General’s office Leonid Volkov, the campaign headquarters manager told “Ъ” that “none of the supporters had transferred any money from their online accounts.” He insists that the fundraising is totally legitimate, while none of the Mr. Navalny’s associates would comment on the Ministry of Interior charges.