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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Election Committee Stalls On Fatherland Registration




The Central Election Committee said Wednesday it had delayed registering Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's political bloc because of questions over cars.


Luzhkov is one of the leaders of the Fatherland-All Russia grouping, which is expected to do well in December's parliamentary election, particularly since popular former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov joined the alliance.


Alexander Veshnyakov, head of the committee, said traffic police found inconsistencies in the car documents of several dozen candidates, including Luzhkov and Primakov.


He said the traffic police - legendary in Russia for their pedantic approach to paperwork - had sent the commission a letter outlining the problems. He said some candidates had given incorrect or incomplete information on cars they owned.


"For example, one candidate wrote he drove one car, a Lada, and in fact had another - a Mitsubishi," Veshnyakov said. He said the results of an investigation into the complaints should be announced Saturday, and the committee will decide then whether the bloc can run.


Former Tax Minister Georgy Boos, campaign manager for the alliance, said he was confident registration formalities would be completed by Saturday - the final registration deadline.


Luzhkov, who has been feuding with the Kremlin for months, has complained that his party has been singled out for unfair treatment in the campaign. His bloc won a legal battle last month when the Supreme Court rejected a complaint that it had missed a previous registration deadline and could not run.


All parties wanting to take part must clear a complex series of bureaucratic hurdles, including the traffic police.


"This is not our problem, but we will help them [the traffic police]," Boos told a news conference. "We have already helped them so much that I am beginning to think we are not a political party but some kind of rescue squad."