The likely disqualification would follow a pattern where opposition figures going up against Russian President Vladimir Putin face challenges over alleged signature forgery or discrepancies with often outdated government records.
Nadezhdin promised to challenge the CEC working group’s decision.
“We need to contest approximately 4,500 signatures out of the 9,209 declared invalid,” he wrote on his Telegram channel. “If the Central Election Commission denies my registration, I will appeal the decision in the Supreme Court,” he added.
CEC Deputy Chief Nikolai Bulayev announced Friday that the signatures of endorsement for one of the election candidates included “dead souls.”
“When we see dozens and dozens of people who are no longer alive leaving signatures, the question arises about the purity of ethical norms,” Bulayev told the state-run news agency TASS on Friday.
“If in my signature lists someone sees dead souls — well, my friends, these are not exactly questions for me. This is more a matter for the church, for an exorcist,” Nadezhdin wrote in response on Telegram.