Tsepkalo, a former ambassador to the United States and a founder of a successful high-technology park, submitted 160,000 signatures on petitions to get on the ballot for the Aug. 9 election, but the commission said only 75,000 were valid — less than the 100,000 needed.
Another strong challenger, former banker Viktor Babariko, has been jailed and is facing charges of money-laundering.
Popular opposition blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky has been jailed on charges of attacking a police officer. Tikhanovksy’s wife, who was running for president, has suspended her campaign.
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