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Russia’s Communist Party rejects results of some gubernatorial elections after its candidates were barred from running

Russia’s Communist Party rejects results of some gubernatorial elections after its candidates were barred from running
Russia's Communists said on Monday that they were refusing to accept the results of the country's local elections in regions where their candidates were not allowed to run. The Communists are Russia's largest opposition party.

“We do not recognize the elections that took place in the regions where our candidates were removed,” said Gennady Zyuganov, the party leader. His nominees were denied registration in five regional contests.

Communist party candidates were kept off the ballot in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, the Leningrad Region, Kamchatka, the Komi Republic, and in Sevastopol. According to Zyuganov, the candidates in Komi and Sevastopol were particularly strong, with the latter having a party candidate come second in the 2017 gubernatorial election.

"We will fight for fair elections," Zyuganov vowed. "We will strengthen our position in all local authorities and fight for an honest, democratic, normal country.”

Within Russia, Zyuganov is known as a controversial figure. As leader of the Communist Party since 1993, he has run for president four times. In recent months, Zyuganov has taken to criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, calling the recently passed constitutional amendments "disappointing" and "depressing." He has also accused Putin of failing to "get rid of the oligarchy." 

Of Russia's 85 regions, just two regional heads are members of the Communist Party. The party has also had success in other areas of the country; the former Governor of the Irkutsk Region is also a member. On the national stage, the Communists are the second-largest party in the State Duma, with 43 of the 450 seats.

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