The Russian Election Commission barred former TV journalist Yekaterina Duntsova from running in the 2024 presidential election as a contender against President Vladimir Putin, citing 100 ‘errors’ in her registration forms. Duntsova, an independent politician running on a platform to end the conflict with Ukraine, had her candidacy unanimously rejected just three days after submitting her application.
She intends to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court. This upcoming presidential election, scheduled for March 2024, marks Russia’s first since Putin initiated a large-scale invasion of Ukraine almost two years prior. Ella Pamfilova, the head of the election commission, stated unequivocally that Duntsova would not advance to the next stage, which involves gathering thousands of supporting signatures.
Pamfilova offered words of encouragement to Duntsova, saying, “You are a young woman with everything ahead of you. Every shortcoming can always be turned into an asset. Any experience remains just that—an experience.”
Duntsova announced her presidential bid in November, expressing, “Anyone in their right mind taking this step would feel afraid – but fear must not prevail.”
The Russian Constitution was amended in 2020, effectively extending the presidential term from four to six years and enabling Putin to run for re-election by nullifying his previous terms.
Moscow has sidelined opposition figures for years, and President Putin is widely expected to secure victory in March 2024. The Kremlin claims genuine support for Putin among Russian citizens.
Duntsova has been notably outspoken about her plans to campaign for ending the war in Ukraine and releasing political prisoners. She swiftly responded after the commission’s decision, stating in her Telegram channel, “We will appeal to the Supreme Court because this decision is not based on the law.”
According to the commission, 29 individuals have so far applied to run for president. However, with today’s decision, Putin remains the sole candidate eligible to continue in the race.
Putin recently showcased an unusual instance of yielding to public pressure by slashing the costs of purchasing eggs and chicken. A caller criticized Putin over the high prices he had to pay, prompting him to decree that eggs and chicken should be exempt from all import taxes, just three months before the election.