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Khodorkovsky to face fellow prisoners in race for Russian parliament seat

[JURIST] Six fellow inmates of jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky [JURIST news archive] are planning on running against him for a seat in Russia's State Duma. Candidates began registering with the elections commission Monday as the race officially began, though neither Khodorkovsky nor any other inmates have yet filed their registrations in Moscow's Universitesky district. Khodorkovsky, who is serving a nine-year jail sentence [JURIST report] following his conviction [JURIST report] on tax evasion, fraud and embezzlement charges, announced his parliamentary bid [JURIST report] last month. Khodorkovsky is currently appealing his conviction and is only eligible to run while his case is under appeal or if his conviction is overturned. On Tuesday, the Moscow court considering his appeal agreed to another delay in proceedings [AP report] while Khodorkovsky's lawyer recovers from illness. Russian political analysts are calling the emergence of additional candidates from Khodorkovsky's prison a Kremlin ploy aimed at discrediting Khodorkovsky's campaign, while still ensuring high voter turnout. The Moscow Times has more.

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