Elections Continue to Disappoint Opposition

992C7195-60F6-4474-A0A4-47BBE28B7BDE_mw270_s.jpgToday’s analysis of the buildup to the weekend’s regional elections may feel like old news to many: the talk of disappointment at the apparent continual and purposeful marginalization of opposition parties, despite Medvedev’s promises that following last year’s heavily-disputed October elections, legitimate, clean electoral processes would be upheld.  This news just in from RFE/RL may confirm some of the opposition’s suspicions:

The Russian Supreme Court has upheld a ban on the opposition Yabloko party taking part in upcoming elections to the Sverdlovsk Oblast Duma, RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports.

Yabloko’s press service told RFE/RL on March 12 that Yabloko filed a complaint with the Supreme Court against the Sverdlovsk Oblast Election Commission’s refusal to register its candidates for the March 14 elections.

The election commission banned Yabloko from the elections because it said 50 percent of the signatures of the party’s supporters appeared to be forged. The Sverdlovsk Oblast Court had upheld the commission’s decision.

On March 9, the Supreme Court also rejected an appeal from Yablokotrying to overturn a ban on the party competing in the local electionsin Kaluga Oblast.

Yabloko leaders and other opposition activists say the bans on the party are politically motivated.