Anti-war candidate appeals Central Election Commission’s decision to block her from challenging Putin in upcoming presidential election

On Tuesday, the candidate barred from challenging Vladimir Putin in Russia's upcoming presidential race announced that she was appealing the decision made by the nation's Central Election Commission just three days earlier.

Yekaterina Duntsova, who has made a name for herself by being decidedly anti-war, was unanimously declared ineligible by the CEC, which claimed that there were "numerous violations" in the paperwork she submitted for her nomination.

According to Reuters, Duntsova filed her appeal with the Russian Supreme Court, in which she argued that the CEC had unfairly barred her from running against Putin, who has held power as either president or prime minister for over 20 years. 

She suggested that by not letting her run, Russian authorities were risking a lower turnout from young voters, among whom she is quite popular.

"I have a sense that the field is being cleared," Duntsova lamented. "It's not advantageous to [the authorities] above all that nobody is left, that the list of candidates lists people aged over 70."

"Where are the representatives of young people?" she asked. "Where are the representatives of people who want to talk about peace, about democratic values, about reform, about trust in the institute of power?"

The Kremlin has not publicly addressed Duntsova's situation, but a spokesperson attempted to prove that everything was above board by reiterating that anyone who meets the legal criteria is technically allowed to run.

Duntsova said that given her country's track record on opposition candidates, she was not hopeful that her appeal would be granted. "Any sane person taking this step would be afraid," she said of her decision to keep fighting, "but fear must not win."

The young politician has been vehemently against Russia's invasion of Ukraine. During an interview with Reuters in November, she called for the release of political prisoners and noted that her countrymen were "very tired" of the conflict. 

The Civic Initiative Party, which has been labeled "centre-right," announced on Saturday that Boris Nadezhdin would be running as its candidate against Putin, and would be filing his documents on December 25.

Image: Title: putin and russia
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