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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Liberal Candidates Cut Out of Elections

The opposition Union of Right Forces party will be barred from fielding candidates in two regions holding local legislative elections in March, officials announced Monday.

Fourteen regions are holding elections. Analysts say the contests will serve as a dress rehearsal for officials conducting State Duma elections later this year.

In the Tyumen region, elections commission chairman Igor Khalin said the Union of Right Forces, or SPS, had failed to file paperwork by a Feb. 3 deadline, Itar-Tass reported.

And in the Pskov region, the regional elections commission ruled that the list of SPS candidates was not adequately representative of the community.

Parties are required by law to run candidates from 22 districts in the region, while SPS had candidates from just 20, commission secretary Sergei Kovalchuk told Interfax.

Tyumen and Pskov are not the first regions to restrict liberal candidates in the March 11 vote. Neither SPS nor the Yabloko party will be able to run for seats in the Dagestani parliament, and in St. Petersburg, Yabloko has been banned from taking part.

Seven regions, including Tyumen and Pskov, are still registering candidates in advance of the elections.

Registration periods in the other seven regions -- the Moscow region, Murmansk, Stavropol, Vologda, Samara, Oryol and Dagestan -- ended this past weekend. Many parties saw their candidates barred over technical violations.

In the seven regions where registration has ended, six to nine parties have been granted permission to run candidates, Kommersant reported.

Only four of those parties managed to get successfully registered in all seven regions: the pro-Kremlin United Russia and A Just Russia parties, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Communists.

Eight parties will be vying for seats in the Moscow region elections, including SPS, Yabloko, United Russia, A Just Russia and the Communists, the regional elections commission said.

Several smaller left-wing parties also have been barred from running candidates in the regional elections. In Vologda, for instance, the Patriots of Russia party was shut out of the vote.

State Duma elections are scheduled for December. The presidential election is to take place in March 2008.