Russia’s election commission playing games with opposition candidates?

Today’s edition of The Moscow News is reporting that Vladimir Zhirinovsky, head of LDPR, may have trouble registering for State Duma elections on Dec. 4, as his internal passport was deemed invalid by the Oryol region election committee.

Together with 24 candidates from the communist party, Zhirinovsky’s passport was found to have become invalidated due to a stamp that recorded his marriage details failed to list his wife’s date of birth.

Head of the LDPR Duma faction, Igor Lebedev, said all the complaints were nonsense. “The party leader has been elected all over Russia for 22 years, and now we find out that his passport has been invalid all this time.”

The Oryol region election committee also singled out 24 of 53 regional Duma candidates from the communist party, and 13 out of 34 LDPR candidates for similar “invalid” passports, Kommersant reported.

Head of Oryol region election committee Vadim Sokolov said, “We are talking about strict following of the law. All the complaints come from it and not from orders from regional officials.” Sokolov said there was no talk of denying registration for the candidates, and that they “have a chance to correct all the mistakes, including with the passports. There is enough time for that.” At the same time, by law, if half of the candidates are dropped from the list, then the whole list cannot be registered.

Head of United Russia for the Oryol region, Leonid Muzalevsky, said that while it was possible to understand the parties on a personal level, “what difference does it make if there is the wife’s date of birth, or not,” but law should be followed.

Mendeleyev comment: If enforced, this would qualify as election tampering, plain and simple. The LDPR, with Zhirinovsky at its head, has been recognized and qualified in every previous election going all the way back to the election of Boris Yeltson!

Read the rest of the story here.