|CPRF's candidate Pavel Grudinin
Grudinin, who won 12% of votes when he challenged Vladimir Putin in the 2018 presidential election, was excluded from a candidate list because the Prosecutor's Office had found he held shares in a foreign company, news agencies reported.
The Communist Party candidate, who has been known as the head of an agricultural cooperative (Lenin State Farm), denied having any foreign assets and linked his disqualification by the central election commission to the potential for opposition parties to post a strong result in September, Interfax reported.
From his side, the CPRF Chairman Gennady Zyuganov denounced the decision of the Central Election Commission, calling her a "shameless, petty, dirty reprisal", and vowed to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court,
As Reuters reported, a recent opinion poll showed the Communists and other opposition parties could pose a threat to the dominance of Putin's United Russia party in the State Duma, Russia's lower house, in the upcoming election.
"The (Communist) Party is an opposition party," Grudinin was quoted as saying by Interfax. "Someone is afraid of the big effect that a union of left-wing forces could have."