(Chicago Tribune) Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny accused President Vladimir Putin of waging a campaign of "terror" to keep the country's elite loyal and said the government is blocking anti-Kremlin candidates from elections.
Navalny, an anti-corruption lawyer who challenged a Putin ally for Moscow mayor in 2013, said the authorities are orchestrating moves to keep the opposition off the ballot in regional polls in September. His pro-democracy coalition wants to use the vote as a springboard to gain seats in parliament next year. […]
That is clear is that the authorities' decision to prevent the opposition from taking part in the elections is dangerous because it undermines credibility, according to Nikolai Petrov, a professor of political science at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.
"This policy is very short-sighted," Petrov said. "The main risk is that if your only source of legitimacy is one person, the leader of the country and his high popularity rating, you don't have any factors to prop up the political system should he or his support disappear."
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