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Russian Election Officials Bar Putin's Political Rival From Running For President—And This Can't Be Good

On Monday, news outlets began reporting that Russian officials have banned Vladimir Putin's chief rival, Alexei Navalny, from the upcoming presidential elections.

The Associated Press tweeted:

And the CBC went on to say:

According to Al-Jazeera, Russia's election committee voted unanimously, 12 to 0, to bar Navalny from running. Al-Jazeera also claims that the criminal conviction officials are citing is from a February 2017 retrial of a 2013 fraud case — and the second trial happened after Navalny had already declared his candidacy. Navalny was found not guilty in the original 2013 case, and many view the retrial as a a pretext to keep him out of the race.

Some imagined Navalny could have been taken out of the running in other ways:

Boris Nemtsov was a Putin critic who was assassinated in March 2015. Despite a 2017 conviction of a Chechen security services officer named  Zaur Dadayev, the investigation into who ordered the assassination is ongoing, according to the New York Times. Many people continuing to speculate that the the Kremlin ordered the hit.

Some people thought our President might be taking notes:

Here's lookin' at you 2020!


H/T: Twitter,  Al-Jazeera, The New York Times