Russia’s opposition candidate will fight two doubles in the election

“It’s a political fraud,” Vishnevsky, 65, of the Liberal Party, Jabloko, told AFP.

“These people are running in elections not to be elected or to represent their political program, but to confuse voters. They have not only changed their names, but also their appearance,” Vishevsky said.

Russia will hold elections from 17 to 19 September, including elections to the State Duma and dozens of other elections. Almost all of the Kremlin’s loudest critics are barred from running in the elections.

Višņevskis said that he was ready for various tricks of his opponents, but he was surprised by the election poster, which shows almost identical photos with him and two other candidates named Boris Višņevskis.

He said he knew one of his opponents, Viktor Bikov of the ruling United Russia party.

“Before he became Boris Vishnevsky, he looked different – without a beard,” Vishnevsky said.

Russia’s main independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, which publishes Vishnevsky, reported that the second double was Alexei Shmelev, who had changed his name even before the election.

AFP failed to contact the doubles, and United Russia did not respond to the agency’s request to comment on the situation.

Russia’s head of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, called the situation shameful and ridiculing the electorate, but made it clear that nothing could be done there.

Electoral laws in Russia are very liberal and candidates on behalf of Boris Vishniewski can run in the election, Pamfilova told Kommersant FM.

The poll data published by the state-controlled public opinion research company VTsIOM show that 30% of voters are ready to vote for “United Russia”.

In the run-up to the elections, the Russian authorities have stepped up opposition to the opposition and the independent media.

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