Yavlinsky is Out

The most likely representative of protesters demanding fair elections will not, probably, be registered as a presidential candidate and will not participate in the elections on March 4.

Every fourth signature presented to the Central Election Commission in support of Grigory Yavlinsky, the leader of the Yabloko party, has been declared invalid. This is five times more than allowed by law. The final decision is still pending but if the preliminary results are confirmed, Grigory Yavlinsky will not take part in the race.

This would strengthen the position of the Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov. More importantly, Grigory Yavlisnky’s withdrawal would leave a small but active group of electorate without a candidate for the election.

As Russian law stands, a potential presidential candidate must collect at least 2 million signatures in about 6 weeks. The collection must take place in at least 40 regions, with no more than 50 thousand signatures coming from any one Subject of the Federation.

Political consultant Evgeniy Suchkov thinks that the task is impossible. One person can get 50 signatures a day. Thus, in order to collect 2 million signatures a candidate needs a whole army of 44,000 people. 'Neither Prokhorov nor Yavlinsky nor any other candidate has so many collectors', Kommersant quotes Evgeniy Suchkov.

Nominees from political parties elected to Parliament do not need collecting signatures. These are the ruling United Russia party, the Communists, the Liberal Democratic Party and Just Russia.