Candidates in canceled elections should be barred from running again – LDPR leader

The head of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) says candidates in regional elections that have been canceled over violations should be legally barred from running again.

LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky made the proposal soon after the elections commission in the Primorsky Region of Russia’s Far East ordered the results of the recent gubernatorial election to be annulled due to numerous violations reported by both candidates after Sunday’s runoff.

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Presidential candidate and leader of the LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky speaks at the election meeting in the LDPR headquarters © Sputnik

The LDPR founder and leader told reporters that he and his party support the decision to hold new elections in Primorsky Region due to violations reported by all candidates. He added that the LDPR supports tightening Russian election laws so that candidates in runoff elections are legally banned from running again if a new election is called.

LDPR candidate Andrey Andreychenko ran in the first round of the gubernatorial election in Primorsky Region and received slightly over nine percent of the vote. Incumbent Governor Andrey Tarasenko received 46 percent, and Communist Party candidate Andrey Ishchenko got 25 percent in the first round, after which they ran in the subsequently canceled runoff.

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Votes are being counted by a local elections committee in Russia's Primorsky Krai. © Vitaly Ankov

However, LDPR candidate Sergey Furgal is expected to take part in the runoff election in Khabarovsk Region, also in the Russian Far East, which is scheduled on September 23. In the first round, Furgal received almost as many votes as incumbent Governor Vyacheslav Shport – 35.43 and 35.62 percent respectively, with 36.09 percent voter turnout.

Zhirinovsky said the LDPR will not give up the fight for the gubernatorial seat in Khabarovsk Region and emphasized that the party is not negotiating any deals with other candidates concerning future appointments in the regional administration.

The last statement apparently concerned a video address in which incumbent Governor Shport offered his main contender Furgal a place in the regional government if he dropped out of the race. Furgal replied that he would accept the proposal if he loses the election, but said he has no intention to voluntarily exit the race.

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