Russia's election authority has barred a critic of the country's invasion of Ukraine from running in the presidential election next month. The former lower house legislator is vowing to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
The Central Election Commission announced on Thursday the disqualification of Boris Nadezhdin.
The commission said he failed to gather the required number of valid signatures for him to stand in the election as thousands of signatures collected by his supporters were flawed.
Nadezhdin told reporters that his name can be removed from the ballot, but tens of millions of people who want change and do not agree with the country's current course are not going anywhere.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Nadezhdin failed to fulfill an important condition after the commission found a large number of invalid signatures.
Observers say President Vladimir Putin, who will contest the election, appears intent on quelling dissent in order to accomplish a sweeping victory.
They believe his administration is wary of Nadezhdin, who was drawing attention from people in and outside Russia.
The commission says the other candidates in the race are Nikolay Kharitonov of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Leonid Slutsky of the far-right Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and Vladislav Davankov of New People.