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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Supreme Court Set to Hear Rutskoi Appeal

The Supreme Court on Thursday is expected to hear an appeal by Kursk Governor Alexander Rutskoi, who says the Kursk regional court wrongly barred him from running for re-election by invalidating his registration as a candidate.

But Central Elections Commission head Alexander Veshnyakov said that whatever the outcome of Thursday’s hearing, it will not prevent the second round of Kursk’s gubernatorial elections, scheduled to take place Sunday without Rutskoi’s participation.

Speaking on television Wednesday, Veshnyakov cited legal technicalities and said that in order to cancel the runoff vote, Rutskoi would have had to have filed a complaint to the Kursk regional court. But Rutskoi’s appeal to the Supreme Court covers only the regional court’s decision to strike him from the ballot just hours before voting booths opened in Kursk last month.

"I will allow myself to draw the conclusion that practically, in the days remaining, it is impossible to halt preparations for the second round of elections," Veshnyakov said.

Rutskoi met with Veshnyakov on Wednesday and complained that the Oct. 22 election had been conducted illegally, Interfax reported.

The regional court said that it had barred Rutskoi from the election because the incumbent had abused his office during the election campaign and failed to declare a six-year-old Volga car in his property statement. Rutskoi has accused his campaign rivals of political intrigue.