Russian court to resume case of parliamentary eligibility

A Russian court hearing on the parliamentary eligibility of pro-Navalny members will convene today. Earlier this month, Russia’s upper house

navalny allies court

Photo: Tatyana Makeyeva/ Reuters

A Russian court hearing on the parliamentary eligibility of pro-Navalny members will convene today.

Earlier this month, Russia’s upper house passed a bill preventing lawmakers closely aligned to activist Alexei Navalny from partaking in parliamentary elections scheduled for September. The bill, approved by President Vladimir Putin, labels Navalny’s anti-Kremlin movement as an illegal organization, barring members from running for government posts. Today’s court hearing will reflect on officially banning Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation and campaign divisions on the basis that they are terrorists.

Expect Russia’s ruling party—United Russia—to lose seats in the upcoming State Duma elections as its popularity has deteriorated due to a flagging economy induced by Western sanctions. As Moscow desires to ensure that pro-Navalny sentiments do not spread, it will boost censorship on social media platforms which have been pivotal during the protests. Moscow will pressure networking companies to remove anti-Kremlin content or face fines. Putin’s crackdown will likely lead to larger popular unrest across Russia that could potentially threaten Putin’s sturdy regime in the long-term. Putin, in turn, will seek to apply constitutional changes that will enable United Russia to push for absolute majority in the Duma.

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