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Why America Will Not Try to Influence the Russian Election

December 27, 2017
Plain English Version

The Russian opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny, center, trying to register as a presidential candidate. His application was denied. Photo Credit: Maxim Shipenkov/European Pressphoto Agency

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, did not like Hillary Clinton. He said she made trouble for him by supporting Russian demonstrators in December 2011.

She was the Democratic Party candidate for President in 2016.

Putin got even by hacking emails from the Democratic Party. His operatives also used internet social media to demean her. The Republican Party nominated Donald Trump as their presidential candidate. Putin did what he could to help Clinton lose, and Trump win the election. An investigation into the role of Russia in the U.S. election is underway.

Putin seems to enjoy elections. Except in his own country.

Russia will have an election for president in March of 2018. Will the U.S. try to push the election one way or another? No, and there is a good reason. The winner of the election is already known. Vladimir Putin will be the winner.

Only one Russian candidate had a chance to defeat Putin. That person is Aleksei A. Navalny. On Monday, the Russian Electoral Commission said Navalny would not be on the ballot. The reason? The commission said that Navalny had a conviction for fraud.

Navalny and many observers in and out of Russia say his conviction for fraud was itself a fraud.

Mr. Navalny is well known in Russia for his efforts to expose corruption in Putin’s inner circle. He led protest rallies in Moscow and across Russia this year. Many young people took part in these rallies.

Mr. Navalny said, “We won’t have an election because Vladimir Putin is horribly afraid. He sees a threat in competing with me. He gave an instruction to his servants from the Central Electoral Commission to reject my registration.”

Mr. Navalny said Putin selected the candidates to run against him for president. What will Navalny do? He said he would try to get his supporters to rise up and protest the election.

He said, “We will campaign against this fake election. We will persuade people not to take part in it. They don’t care whom you will vote for. They just want you to come and sign that you got your ballot sheet.” Signatures make the election official.

There are reports that efforts to boycott the election may not be lawful.

The U.S. had a real election in 2016. The Russian election in 2018 will be a fake.

That is too bad.

Source: The New York Times December 25, 2017


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