He is described as a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the opposition leader Alexei Navalny took to attending a political rally on Sunday soon after he was released from jail. He also reiterated his pledge to continue his presidential campaign despite the authorities declaring him ineligible to contest the crucial poll.
Navalny, considered an opponent of President Vladimir Putin, had been detained by police in late September and sentenced to 20 days in jail on charges of repeatedly violating laws by organising public meeting and rallies. It was the third time he had been jailed this year, part of what he says is a pattern of Kremlin harassment designed to thwart his political ambitions. Russia’s central election commission has declared him ineligible to run for president next year due to a suspended prison sentence, which he says was politically-motivated.
Shrugging off that ban, the 41-year-old lawyer held a campaign rally in the provincial town of Astrakhan in southern Russia on Sunday evening, hours after walking free from jail. He said after the rally he would continue to campaign and had the right to take part in next year’s election. “We have more right to take part in the elections than all the other candidates combined,” Navalny wrote on his website.