Russian Single Mother Of Three's Presidential Ambitions Thwarted By Kremlin

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.25 - 2023 4:25 PM CET


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In a bold move challenging Russia's political status quo, journalist Yekaterina Duntsova's aspirations to run for the presidency have hit a significant roadblock.

The Central Election Commission of Russia has declined to register her voters' committee, citing errors in 20 percent of the committee members' statements, with one member's signature even being likened to a cat's shape.

This decision effectively bars Duntsova from gathering the necessary signatures for her nomination, a critical step in the presidential nomination process.

Ella Pamfilova, head of the Central Election Commission, offered words of encouragement to the young aspirant, emphasizing the value of experience, both positive and negative. However, this sentiment does little to alleviate the practical hurdles Duntsova faces in her political journey.

The situation is reminiscent of the Commission's previous rejection of opposition politician Alexey Navalny's presidential application in December 2017.

Undeterred, Duntsova has turned to the Yabloko party for support. She has made a public appeal to the party's chairman, Nikolai Rybakov, its founder, Grigory Yavlinsky, and other members, urging them to nominate her as their presidential candidate.

Her plea comes ahead of Russia's presidential elections scheduled for March 17, 2024, presenting what she considers the last legitimate opportunity for citizens to express their dissent against current governmental policies.

Duntsova's request to the Yabloko party comes after the party's recent congress, where no presidential candidates were announced.

According to Russian law, the party must decide on its participation through a congress, which must submit its documents to the Central Election Commission no later than 25 days from the official announcement of the elections.

Despite her appeals, Yavlinsky has expressed skepticism regarding Duntsova's nomination. During a live stream on the Zhivoy Gvozd YouTube channel, he dismissed the possibility of Yabloko nominating her, stating that the party is unfamiliar with Duntsova.

He left the door open for the continuation of the party's congress but indicated that it was unlikely to nominate any candidate, including himself.

Yekaterina Duntsova, a 40-year-old journalist from Rzhev in Russia's Tver region, is a former deputy in the local duma. Her platform includes ending combat operations in Ukraine, implementing democratic reforms, and freeing political prisoners.

Following her announcement to run for president, she faced inquiries from the prosecutor's office about her stance on the Ukraine conflict and had her financial transactions blocked by Russian bank VTB. The Russian Justice Ministry also inspected the notary where her voters' committee's registration document was certified.

As Duntsova continues her fight, she plans to appeal the Election Commission's decision at Russia’s Supreme Court. Her story is a testament to the challenges faced by those seeking political change in Russia's current political landscape.