|All Sources > The Current Digest of the Russian Press (DA-CDRP) > The Current Digest of the Russian Press > 2016 > No. 50, Vol. 68|
Navalny Announces 2018 Presidential Bid
RUSSIA’S MOST FAMOUS OPPOSITIONIST SAYS HE WILL RUN ON PROMISES OF ‘REAL DIALOGUE,’ NOT FAKE TV
CATCH UP, KREMLIN! (By Daria Litvinova. The Moscow Times, Dec. 15, 3016, p. 2. Complete text:) Almost anything is possible if Aleksei Navalny manages to register his candidacy in Russia’s 2018 presidential race. But one thing is certain: It’s not going to be a boring campaign.
Three years ago, the notorious anticorruption crusader faced off against Sergei Sobyanin in the Moscow mayoral election. Few people took Navalny seriously then, but he ran a lively, unorthodox campaign and nearly forced a runoff vote, winning (officially) almost a third of the ballots [see Current Digest, Vol. 65, No. 37, pp. 6 - 10].
On Dec. 13, Russians learned that they could be in store for another entertaining race about a year from now, when Navalny says he’ll run for the presidency.
The announcement comes on the heels of a recent decision by Russia’s Supreme Court, which overturned Navalny’s felony conviction in an embezzlement case [see Current Digest, Vol. 68, No. 46, pp. 11 - 12] - the only legal obstacle to his candidacy for elected office. The news also coincides with Navalny’s retrial, which began about a week ago.
"It’s time to choose," says a motto on Navalny’s new campaign Web site. "We need an honest conversation, rather than yet another fake television show."
It’s too early to know if Russia’s next presidential election will more closely resemble an "honest conversation" or a "fake television show," and experts warn that the Kremlin doesn’t seem to have a coherent strategy yet. Now that Navalny has made his move, however, state officials will need a plan, and soon.
Navalny’s timing is perfect, said Gleb Pavlovsky, a political analyst who used to work as an adviser for the Kremlin. "A week before Putin’s big ...