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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Court Asked to Disqualify President

The Union of Right Forces said Thursday that it had asked the Supreme Court to disqualify President Vladimir Putin from the State Duma elections next month because his job gives him an unfair advantage.

Party leader Nikita Belykh said the grounds for the lawsuit, filed Wednesday, were Putin's "repeated violations of the law."

He added that the Kremlin was using its administrative clout to boost United Russia and make life difficult for the opposition.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said he could not comment.

"I cannot say anything. That is a question for the election commission. The thing is that we, as the presidential administration, have nothing to do with the elections," he said.

Opinion polls suggest that United Russia will win at least half of the vote in the elections, while its nearest rivals have ratings in the single figures. Putin said this week that a big showing for United Russia would give him a "moral right" to influence politics after he steps down as required by the Constitution, which limits presidents to two consecutive terms.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, citing a source close to the presidential administration, reported Thursday that Putin was planning to resign after the Duma elections and become a deputy, giving him the legal right to run in the March presidential election. Reuters, MT