Russia removes Navalny-led opposition party from approved list

28th April 2015, Comments 0 comments

Russia has withdrawn the opposition Progress Party led by arch Putin foe Alexei Navalny from the list of authorised parties, the justice ministry announced on Tuesday.

The decision came 10 days after the announcement of the creation of a new opposition movement, the Democratic Coalition, which includes the Progress Party and RPR-Parnas, the party of slain Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov.

"We just read on the website of the Ministry of Justice that the Progress Party was liquidated, but without a court order," said Navalny, speaking on Ekho Moskvy radio.

"We will appeal this decision in Russian courts and the European Court of Human Rights," he added.

The ministry said the Progress Party had failed to comply with Russian law and did not register all of its local offices within six months.

Navalny, a lawyer and activist, shot to prominence during mass protests against President Vladimir Putin in 2011-2012.

The 38-year-old however has been fighting a series of criminal probes and cannot himself run for a parliamentary seat.

The Democratic Coalition has announced it would be fielding candidates at local elections this year and parliamentary polls next year. It is supported by former oligarch turned Kremlin critic, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, said his Open Russia rights network.

Russia's beleaguered opposition has been sidelined during Putin's 15 years at the helm, and does not have any representation in the Duma parliament.

© 2015 AFP

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