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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nemtsov Says Authorities Trying to Derail Sochi Bid

Sochi mayoral candidate Boris Nemtsov accused police of illegally confiscating tens of thousands of campaign pamphlets Saturday as part of a drive by regional authorities to derail his bid.

The complaint from the opposition politician came a day after Sochi election officials unveiled the final list of candidates for the April 26 election. The original list of 26 candidates was reduced to nine, including Nemtsov, wealthy businessman Alexander Lebedev and Acting Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov, who is backed by United Russia.

Ballerina Anastasia Volochkova failed to make the list because she forgot to put her date of birth on a bank deposit slip when submitting the required registration fee, the ballerina said Friday.

Sochi is slated to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, a project for which the federal government has earmarked billions of dollars, and the next mayor will have a strong say over how the government will spend the money.

Nemtsov, a Sochi native and former deputy prime minister, said Sochi police on Saturday seized 125,000 pamphlets, and he appealed to President Dmitry Medvedev to dismiss Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachyov for "the outrage and unlawfulness" of the confiscation, according to a statement released by his campaign team.

Sochi's top election official, Yury Rykov, said Sunday that Nemtsov's complaint would be examined, Interfax reported.

Nemtsov is familiar with police confiscations. In the run-up to the State Duma elections in 2007, police across the country seized millions of newspapers published by the Union of Right Forces, Nemtsov's now-extinct party, for purported legal violations.

Nemtsov wrote on his LiveJournal blog recently that two Sochi radio stations have refused to broadcast his campaign ads under pressure from regional authorities.

Major television and radio stations in the Black Sea resort of Sochi have refused to give airtime to candidates in the mayoral election while providing coverage of Pakhomov in his capacity of acting mayor, the web site Kavkaz-uzel.ru reported Thursday.

Volochkova, who made headlines in 2003 after she was fired from the Bolshoi Theater reportedly because she weighed too much, said Friday that the decision to deny her registration "proves that my personality is threatening for certain other candidates," Interfax reported.

"It is an absurd, illegal reason, and I will absolutely appeal this decision in court," she said.

A spokeswoman for the Sochi elections commission told The Moscow Times that Volochkova was denied registration but gave no reason.

Volochkova said in a statement on her web site that the missing date of birth on the bank slip was the "official reason" for her rejection.

She declared that a rival candidate, Dmitry Berdnikov, had "managed to topple" her.

Berdnikov, a native of Kazan, recently threatened to go to court to remove Volochkova from the campaign, saying her documents were not in order, Interfax reported. He also was denied registration Friday.

Volochkova, who has no political campaign experience but is a member of United Russia, has said that as mayor she would focus on issues such as transportation, electricity and sewage dumping into the Black Sea.