Russia's election commission says Navalny can not run for presidency

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny attends a hearing for his appeal against a 30-day jail sentence after a judge found him guilty of repeatedly violating the law on organising public meetings following big June 12 protests, at a court in Moscow, Russia, June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

(Reuters) - Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny can not run for presidency because of his criminal conviction, the Central Election Commission, said in a statement on Friday.

“Navalny does not have passive suffrage,” said the statement, meaning he was ineligible to run for office.

Navalny was found guilty of embezzlement in February and given a five-year suspended prison sentence in a court case he says was organized to stop him running for president.

Reporting by Kevin O’Flynn; editing by Vladimir Soldatkin