Liberal opposition leader Grigori Yavlinsky will not be allowed to run for the Russian presidency after being disqualified.
His removal is being blamed on irregularities in his nomination petition. The electoral commission will formally block him from the campaign next week, after finding that hundreds of thousands of signatures on his petition were invalid. Authorities claim a quarter of the 600,000 signatures Yavlinksy needed as an independent candidate have been photocopied.
Though unlikely to beat the election frontrunner, current Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, Yavlinsky says he has been stopped from running because he is genuine competition not directed by the Kremlin.