Russian opposition leader appeals ban on election run against Putin

He's the most serious challenger to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We do not want to wait another six years," Navalny wrote on his website, in Russian. "We want competitive elections right now."

Russia’s Central Elections Commission blocked Navalny from running last month by preventing a group of his supporters from nominating him, on the grounds that Navalny had been convicted of fraud.

"An appeal contesting the decision has been lodged with the appeals panel of the Russian Supreme Court," Navalny's lawyer Ivan Zhdanov told Russian news agency Interfax. "The practice of hearings into cases of this category shows that a session on our complaint could be held even before the [New Year] holidays are over [early next week]."

Navalny's supporters have said that all charges against him are politically motivated.

He has called for a boycott of the March 18 election.

An anti-corruption campaigner, Navalny is the most serious challenger to Putin, who is running for re-election.

Navalny added that "on January 28, we will hold an all-Russian action in support of the voters' strike."