In March 2018, opposition leader Alexei Navalny was blocked from running in the 2018 Russian presidential election against Vladimir Putin, after election officials disqualified his candidacy over a suspended criminal conviction. Navalny had hoped to challenge Putin’s nearly two-decade-long grip on power and was the only major opposition candidate running against Putin. However, the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation said Navalny was ineligible to run due to a conviction for embezzlement. Navalny and his supporters argued that charge was politically motivated and referenced reports from the European Court of Human Rights that found Navalny’s conviction to be a violation of his rights. Despite being blocked from candidacy, Navalny has continued campaigning and has proposed a referendum on Russia’s foreign military interventions.