Navalny submits hundreds of complaints against mayor poll, demands halt to
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Lawyer and popular blogger Aleksey Navalny has submitted almost a thousand lawsuits to city and district courts seeking to overturn the victory of Sergey Sobyanin in Sunday's Moscow mayoral election.
On Wednesday Navalny and his aides arrived to the Moscow City Court carrying cardboard boxes containing complaints alleging violations in the September 8 election.
Navalny told the press near the court building that he was submitting one lawsuit to the city court seeking to cancel the poll results on the basis of two major violations – the unequal access to mass media for different candidates, and the allegation that the district election commission was handing out foodstuffs to pensioners, which can be considered as bribing of voters.
Many Moscow pensioners received foodstuffs shortly before the elections. The presents were distributed by social workers in connection with the Moscow Day holiday.
Navalny told reporters that he personally thought that no one would question the first of the charges.
He also said that the boxes he delivered to the city court contained 951 lawsuits that should be transferred to district courts and which were describing procedure violations during the elections, especially against the work of mobile ballot boxes that allowed city residents who could not leave their residences to vote from home.
“We know that all home-voting registers were made with violations,” Navalny said adding that in many constituencies the percentage of people who chose to vote at home was unusually high.
“We know that Sergey Sobyanin got less than 49 percent [of votes] and we will prove this,” Navalny added. If the blogger manages to fulfill this promise, this would mean a second round of elections.
According to official data Sobyanin won the Sunday poll with 51.37 percent of supporters and Navalny was second with 27.24 percent.
Talking to the press on Wednesday Navalny also said that in case the court officially accepts his complaint Sobyanin’s inauguration, scheduled for September 12, would be illegal. “We have proof that would become the foundation of the court’s future ruling and they must now suspend the realization of the elections’ commission decision. This is common legal practice,” the poll runner-up stated.
The day after the poll thousands of Navalny’s supporters held a rally at Bolotnaya Square near the Kremlin and the opposition blogger told the gathering that he considered getting almost 30 percent of the vote a victory. An even larger rally was initially scheduled on Saturday and licenced by the city authorities, but Navalny’s HQ decided to cancel it citing procedure complications.
Navalny took part in the mayoral poll soon after a court in the provincial city of Kirov convicted him of a major fraud committed in 2009 when he assisted the local governor with reforms in the timber industry. Navalny was sentenced to five years, but has not yet been taken to prison as the sentence would only come into force after the court considers the defense’s appeal.