EXPLAINER: How Navalny election tool challenges the Kremlin

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MOSCOW (AP) — Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his embattled allies won’t be running in the Sept. 19 parliamentary election, but they still hope to challenge the ruling United Russia party with their strategy known as Smart Voting. The project, thought up by Navalny, is designed to promote candidates that are most likely to defeat those backed by the Kremlin. It has proven to be effective in some regional elections in the past two years. Authorities are working hard to suppress its deployment by cracking down on those who promote it and trying to block its website or get it removed from smartphone apps.

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