Russia: Scandal over a Communist's assets

According to the tax authorities in Russia the Communist Party's presidential candidate, entrepreneur Pavel Grudinin, concealed the fact that he had eleven Swiss bank accounts. The accounts reportedly contain foreign currency and gold worth roughly a million euros. This discovery should be enough to bar him from running in the elections on March 18. Why hasn't the Central Election Committee taken this step?

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Radio Kommersant FM (RU) /

Avoid causing a scandal

Radio Kommersant FM suspects it knows why the Central Election Committee hasn't taken any action so far:

“Perhaps that would be the last straw for the Communists and they would launch protest actions? Let's be honest: if the election laws were strictly applied the case would land in court. And the court would rule that if an offence had been committed Grudinin's candidacy would have to be revoked. After all, the law is strict but just. In reality, however, the Election Committee is being forced to think up peculiar categories that on the one hand penalise Grudinin but on the other hand leave him on the ballot paper in order to keep the scandal as small as possible.”

Vedomosti (RU) /

Putin needs Grudinin on the ballot paper

Vedomosti has a different explanation for why Grudinin's candidacy hasn't been banned:

“If Grudinin is on the ballot paper the Communist Party's supporters will have a reason to go out and vote. And if the CP candidate proves to be an untypical Communist and forgetful to boot, that's a reason to take a closer look at the other names on the ballot paper. That will give the rivals more votes - and above all the leading candidate in the race, political analysts say. And the plan is not just for that candidate to win in an election with high voter turnout, but also to win by a large margin.”