The Russian election committee has barred opposition leader Alexei Navalny from running for president in the 2018 presidential elections.
In a unanimous 12-0 ruling with one person abstaining, the committee cited a conviction for fraud as the reason Navalny could not take part as a presidential candidate.
Directly after Monday’s decision, Navalny called for a boycott of the March elections.
“We are declaring a strike by voters. We will ask everyone to boycott these elections. We will not recognise the result,” he said.
In a pre-recorded message, released shortly after the election committee made its ruling public, Navalny, 41, also criticised current president Vladimir Putin.
“Only Putin and the candidates he has handpicked are taking part in it.“