Boris Nadezhdin, Russian anti-war presidential contender, surpasses 150,000 signatures for March election bid

Having crossed the initial requirement of 100,000 signatures for review by the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) earlier in the week, Nadezhdin’s campaign aimed for a higher figure to ensure procedural accuracy and surpass regional quotas.

Boris Nadezhdin, the anti-war presidential candidate in Russia, has achieved a significant milestone by garnering over 150,000 signatures endorsing his candidacy for the upcoming March election, as indicated on his campaign website on Thursday.

Having crossed the initial requirement of 100,000 signatures for review by the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) earlier in the week, Nadezhdin’s campaign aimed for a higher figure to ensure procedural accuracy and surpass regional quotas.

According to Russian electoral regulations, a presidential candidate from a party not represented in parliament must secure 100,000 signatures of endorsement, with a limit of 2,500 from each of Russia’s regions. The deadline for submitting these signatures to the CEC is set for January 31.

A banner prominently displayed on Nadezhdin’s campaign website revealed that more than 158,000 signatures had been gathered for the 60-year-old veteran politician as of Thursday afternoon. While the campaign has not confirmed whether it will continue to collect signatures beyond the set goal, the achievement marks a substantial show of support for Nadezhdin’s bid.

Boris Nadezhdin, seeking to run as an independent candidate representing the Civic Initiative party, has experienced a surge in popularity over the past week. Notably, long lines have formed outside his campaign offices, both within Russia and abroad, underscoring the resonance of his pro-peace stance among thousands of Russians who wish to express their opposition to the conflict in Ukraine through endorsement of his candidacy.

The Kremlin, however, downplayed Nadezhdin’s potential impact, stating on Wednesday that they do not consider him a serious rival to the widely expected presidential candidate, Vladimir Putin, who is anticipated to secure his fifth overall presidential term.

Nadezhdin’s campaign clarified that the reported number of signatures on its website does not encompass those collected outside of Russia. The inclusion of international endorsements highlights the global dimension of his support base, reflecting the significance of his anti-war platform not only within Russia but also resonating with the broader international community.

As the deadline for submission approaches, the success of Nadezhdin’s signature campaign underscores the growing public sentiment in favour of an alternative, anti-war candidate. The campaign’s ability to exceed the stipulated signature threshold signals a notable shift in the political landscape, emphasizing the significance of Nadezhdin’s candidacy as a symbol of pro-peace sentiment amid ongoing geopolitical challenges.