Russia's Navalny secures support for 2018 presidential polls

ANI | Updated: Dec 25, 2017 03:02 IST

Moscow [Russia], Dec 25 (ANI): Scores of Russians have endorsed the candidacy of opposition leader Alexei Navalny to get his name on the ballot officially and challenge Vladimir Putin in the next year's presidential polls.

His supporters gathered in 20 cities across the country to secure the signatures.

"It's you, Vladimir Putin, who turned this country into a source of personal enrichment for yourself, your family and your friends. It's why you shouldn't be president anymore, it's why you're a bad president", Al Jazeera quoted, Navalny as telling the gathered crowd.

According to Navalny's campaign, over 15,000 people endorsed him nationwide and over 700 people supported Navalny's candidacy in Moscow.

An independent candidate needs 500 votes to get registered with election authorities, according to leglisation.

The 41-year-old lawyer has been deemed ineligible to run, due to a criminal conviction.

The authorities said that "only a miracle" would help him get registered. Navalny has described the conviction as politically motivated.

Navalny, who is a staunch Kremlin critic and anti-corruption campaigner, rose to prominence in Russian politics in 2008.

In addition to this, he was the driving force behind massive anti-Putin protests in 2011 and 2012. (ANI)