Russian lawmakers target Navalny allies with new bill

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MOSCOW (AP) — The lower house of Russian parliament has endorsed a bill that keeps people affiliated with groups considered extremist from running in elections, part of authorities’ efforts to sideline associates of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. After the State Duma approved the bill Wednesday in the final third reading, it will need to be vetted by the upper house and signed by President Vladimir Putin to become law. Lawmakers have fast-tracked the bill while a Moscow court has considered a request by prosecutors to designate Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption and his regional offices as extremist groups. Navalny and his allies have denounced the proceedings as part of Kremlin efforts to muzzle dissent ahead of September’s parliamentary election.

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