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ALACO DISPATCHES: Why Russia’s elections may derail Putin’s biggest critic

Question: Are Sobchak and Navalny the only opposing Putin in the election? And how large is the popular support for these candidates (estimated)?

Answers: Thank you for your question. Up to now Alexei Navalny and Xenia Sobchak are the only ones to announce the intention to run for president in 2018. Their poll numbers are negligible at 1-2% and they both are still to comply with the red tape required to register a candidate. Navalny also has a criminal conviction in the Kirovles corruption case that might deter him from the race.  On November 20 Interfax reported that veteran ultranationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) will be running for president for the sixth time. The leader of the Communist Party of Russia (KPRF) Gennady Zyuganov was also planning to run, according to unconfirmed reports. Their poll numbers are at about 3%. It must be noted that Vladimir Putin, whose approval ratings have been record-high at over 80%, has yet to announce that he will be running for president in 2018, whether as a candidate of the ruling United Russia party, as an independent candidate, or in some other quality. In the highly likely outcome of Vladimir Putin running for president, the greatest other threat to his re-election is perhaps public apathy or indecisiveness, with recent polls showing that over 40% of Russian don’t know who to vote for, or whether they would vote at all. Best, bne IntelliNews team

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Uzbekistan planning to issue first Eurobonds with intention to raise $200mn-$300mn

February 26, 2018

Uzbekistan plans to sell between $200mn-300mn of Eurobonds in 2018 to create a benchmark for Uzbek corporate borrowers, Bloomberg reported on February 22. The country named Raiffeisen Bank ...

Romania’s president stands by embattled anti-corruption chief

February 26, 2018

Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said on February 23 that he stands by the head of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi.  The government and the ruling ...

Independent candidate scores stunning victory in Hungarian mayoral by-election

February 26, 2018

An independent candidate backed by opposition parties scored a stunning upset at a mayoral by-election in the town of Hodmezovasarhely, a Fidesz stronghold, on February 25, in a vote widely perceived ...

Latvia in shock after third-largest lender ABLV folds in aftermath of money laundering allegations

February 26, 2018

The Latvian authorities will meet on February 26 to discuss dangers that may ensue from the failure of the country’s third-largest bank ABLV, the Baltic state’s prime minister said on February ...

Macedonia’s EU-oriented reforms will open the way for EU talks, Juncker says

February 26, 2018

The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said on February 25 that if Macedonia continues to implement the needed reforms it will receive a recommendation to launch EU accession ...

Survey determines 54% of Czechs want to stay in the EU

February 23, 2018

A survey has found that most Czechs remain positive towards Europe, with 54% of respondents saying they would like to stay in the European Union and 34% stating they would be in favour of a ...

Turkish opposition cries foul over draft bill that invites security forces into polling stations

February 22, 2018

New electoral regulations proposed by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party and its nationalist allies could endanger the fairness of the country’s scheduled 2019 elections, ...

Montenegro's police identify former soldier decorated by Milosevic as US embassy bomber

February 22, 2018

Montenegro’s police have revealed that a former soldier named Dalibor Jaukovic threw a grenade at the US embassy in the early hours of February 22 , ...

Ex-Iranian president Ahmadinejad demands “free” elections in Twitter outburst at establishment

February 22, 2018

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on February 21 spoke out against Iran’s ruling establishment on the banned Twitter platform, demanding “free” parliamentary and presidential ...

Transparency International report shows Hungary second most corrupt country in EU after Bulgaria

February 22, 2018

Hungary has slipped nine places to 66th on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International (TI) on February 21, placing the country as the second most corrupt in ...

Shell to invest $42.5mn in oil, gas exploration in Albania

February 20, 2018

International oil major Shell plans to invest $42.5mn in oil and gas exploration in southern Albania over the next seven years, Albania’s National Agency of Natural Resources ...

Governor of Latvian central bank says he will not resign

February 20, 2018

Ilmars Rimsevics, the embattled governor of Latvia’s central bank,  told a press conference in Riga on February 20 that he will not resign as he is not guilty of corruption ...

Emirates NBD reportedly set to place bid for Sberbank’s Turkish unit Denizbank

February 20, 2018

Dubai’s largest banking group Emirates NBD is preparing to submit a bid for largest Russian lender Sberbank’s wholly owned Turkish unit Denizbank, people with knowledge of the matter ...

Transgaz gets EBRD’s help in bidding for Greek DESFA

February 20, 2018

Romania’s natural gas transport grid operator Transgaz, in partnership with Regasificadora Del Noroeste (Reganosa) and the European Bank for Reconstruyction and Develkopment (EBRD), submitted one ...

Bulgaria’s Deputy PM says his hard-right United Patriots will collapse before next election

February 19, 2018

Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov said that the hard right nationalist United Patriots - the junior partner of Bulgaria's Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) – ...

Khamenei extends rare apology in reflections on unhappiness felt by Iranians

February 19, 2018

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on February 18 offered a rare apology to citizens on behalf of the Islamic Republic as he dwelled on issues that may have caused the outbreak of social ...

Milorad Dodik to run for Bosnia’s state-level presidency

February 17, 2018

Milorad Dodik, the controversial president of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Republika Srpska, will run for the state-level tripartite ...

Bulgaria’s ruling party backs away from treaty combatting violence against women under pressure from far-right coalition partners

February 17, 2018

Bulgaria’s ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) will not back the adoption of a European treaty intended to ...

Vladimir Potanin keen to buy 6.3% Norilsk Nickel stake from fellow oligarchs Abramovich and Abramov

February 16, 2018

Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin wants to buy the 6.3% stake in metal giant Norilsk Nickel held by fellow oligarchs Roman Abramovich and Alexander Abramov, Vedomosti reported on February 16.  ...