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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Decision Strikes 3 Parties From Ballot

An appeals panel of Supreme Court judges Wednesday reversed a decision by the court restoring three parties to the Dec. 19 State Duma election ballot.

The consequence of Wednesday's decision appeared to be that the three parties, including the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, would be struck off again.

The presidium, a panel of Supreme Court judges that hears appeals of the court's rulings, decided that if any of the top three candidates on a party's electoral list is struck off, the whole electoral bloc cannot be registered for the elections.

Members of the top three, or troika, of the LDPR, the Conservative Party of Russia, and the Spas bloc have been disqualified.

Wednesday's decision reverses an earlier Supreme Court ruling that restored the three parties to the ballot. The earlier Supreme Court decision overturned a decision by the Central Election Commission throwing the parties off the ballot in the first place.

Thus, the parties have been removed by the CEC, restored by the Supreme Court, and now again removed by the court's presidium.

The CEC was to meet Thursday to decide how to implement the court decision, but the ruling appeared to leave little choice besides kicking the three parties off again.

"The Central Election Committee will cancel the Supreme Court ruling in keeping with a ruling of a higher instance - its presidium - made today," Interfax quoted CEC head Alexander Veshnyakov as saying Wednesday.

The presidium, at the request of the CEC, heard an appeal by the Prosecutor General's Office against the Supreme Court ruling binding the committee to reinstate the Conservative Party, even while recognizing the lawfulness of the CEC's refusal to register a member of its top troika, singer Yury Antonov.

The presidium agreed with the prosecutors, saying the Conservative Party should be kicked off. The ruling, if applied by election officials, would also result in the LDPR and Spas being removed.

Member of the CEC Yevgeny Kalyushin said the ruling was a victory for elections officials because it removed grounds for the LDPR to contest the validity of the election.

"What is important for us is to have the elections results stand," Kalyushin said.

There had been fears, expressed publicly by CEC head Veshnyakov, that Zhirinovsky and his allies in the Kremlin would use the confusion as a pretext for overturning the election result.