WASHINGTON, Nov. 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny has been announced as the winner of the prestigious 2021 Democracy Medal awarded by members of the International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC) which is the global peak professional body for democratic election strategists and pollsters.

IAPC president Mauricio De Vengoechea said Mr. Navalny’s award recognized him for fighting for democracy in Russia, often at great personal risk to his own life.

“Mr. Navalny has long been the most prominent voice calling attention to democratic abuses and corruption under the regime,” Mr. De Vengoechea said.

“His bravery has come at a high cost to him, including an attempt to poison him with a nerve agent and periods in jail. He remains imprisoned in Russia at this time following the latest in a series of impeding legal maneuvers against him by officials.”

“Since becoming leader of the Russia of the Future Party in 2013, Mr. Navalny has been subjected to a range of tactics to prevent him from participating in election processes. Instead, he has sought to engage Russian citizens through social media activism that has attracted many followers.”

“As a non-partisan organization that defends and celebrates free elections, IAPC believes Mr. Navalny, like all those who seek high office, should be able to put his case to voters in a free and fair election. The simple act of choosing your candidate is a foundational privilege of democracy. It should be defended and never taken for granted.”

“The challenges to democratic principle and human liberty that we see in Mr. Navalny’s case are disturbing. By presenting this award to him, IAPC is articulating its support for the principle that all people everywhere have a right to free elections.”

IAPC is the global professional organization for people who work in democratic election campaigns and processes, often for head of states races across Europe, the Americas, the Asia-Pacific and Africa. It provides a forum for campaign strategists and pollsters to share and deepen professional knowledge around elections and to monitor trends in election practice globally.

Since 1982, IAPC has been a pioneer in awarding an organization or an individual who in the judgment of its membership has worked courageously to foster, promote and sustain the democratic process anywhere in the world through our Democracy Medal, the first international award of its kind.

This is the 39th time since 1982 that the Medal has been awarded. Nominees are proposed by members who then vote on the nominee shortlist. Awardees have included individual politicians and leaders, political organizations, and political movements that have contributed to free elections through their leadership and commitment to democratic ideals.

Other 2021 nominees shortlisted for the Medal were Tsai Ing-wen, President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for asserting only Taiwan’s people can decide their future; journalist Maria Ressa, for breathtaking courage in challenging the Duterte government in the Philippines; and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for being an island of sanity in a growing sea of demagogue leaders.

Past winners include Hong Kong Umbrella Movement founder Joshua Wong, the Women of Belarus, Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, US Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Philippines President Corazon Aquino, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Established in 1968, The International Association of Political Consultants is committed to fostering democracy and the democratic process throughout the world. Members span a variety of political backgrounds and activities fostering the growing and diverse profession of political consulting as well as the practical aspects of democratic elections.

For further information contact:

Mauricio de Vengoechea, IAPC President Email: devengo@Icloud.com

Matt Klink, IAPC President-Elect: Tel: (310) 283-6267 Email: matt@klinkcampaigns.com

Marcel Wieder, Communications Tel: (416) 907-2126 Email: marcel@aurorastrategy.com

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