Russian election officials say ‘errors’ in Putin challenger’s bid

Nadezhdin – who has spent weeks criticising President Putin and the almost two-year Ukraine offensive – dismissed the commission’s accusations. 

“We are all more alive than the living,” he said, posting photographs on Telegram of people queueing to submit signatures. 

He alluded to the Russian literature classic Dead Souls to mock election officials. 

“If someone sees dead souls in my signature lists, well, friends, these questions should not be addressed to me. It’s more for the church or exorcists,” he said. 

In a post earlier on Friday, Nadezhdin repeated that he would take the election commission to court if it barred him from running.  

In an interview with AFP last month, he said Putin’s decision to launch the Ukraine offensive in 2022 had been “catastrophic”.

Many have been surprised that he has been allowed to progress this far in the voting process. 

Political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya said the election commission’s comments were a sign that Nadezhdin would not be allowed to stand. 

“The Kremlin has started to prepare the public for the decision of barring Nadezhdin,” she said on Telegram. 

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