Navalny's possible withdrawal from Moscow election would be first in history - elections commission chief
"It's never happened in mayoral elections that a candidate has withdrawn on their own," Gorbunov said. The law entitles a candidate to withdraw from the race before the elections, Gorbunov said.
"If we receive an official application, we will consider this issue," he said. Gorbunov suggested it was too early to talk about the implications of Navalny's withdrawal.
"They [Navalny's staff] first say they would not accept municipal lawmakers' signatures, then they accept them. This [the decision to withdraw from the elections] might possibly be just a simple PR stunt. When the candidate himself decides not to run, then we will consider the issue," he said.
Opposition activist Alexei Navalny's campaign staff will withdraw him from the mayoral elections in Moscow, says campaign staff head Leonid Volkov.
"It was previously agreed upon with the candidate that, if he gets real jail time, we will not participate in the elections," Volkov said.
Navalny's campaign staff will file the relevant paperwork with the Moscow City Elections Commission in the near future, he said.
"Our campaign format is being changed. The campaign staff is turning into a boycott staff," Volkov said.
Speaking earlier on Dozhd television, Volkov said Navalny's campaign staff would continue its work in the campaign "in the form of protest or boycott".
Navalny's lawyer Olga Mikhailova said the prospects of her client's involvement in the Moscow mayoral elections slated for September 8 are vague now.
"It is almost impossible to campaign from a prison cell. Navalny will become not very competitive," she said.
Volkov said earlier on Dozhd television that Navalny was inaccessible immediately after the sentence was handed down but expressed the hope that "contact with him would be established in a day or two".
If the sentence had been suspended, Navalny would have been able to run his election campaign, despite some difficulties, he said.
At the present time, the staff's position is the following: "we will withdraw and go beyond the election law framework, and we will run an uncompromising awareness-raising campaign," he said.
Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny will remain on the list of registered candidates for Moscow mayor until his five-year prison sentence comes into effect, Moscow Election Commission Chairman Valentin Gorbunov said.
"In accordance with the law, he will remain a registered candidate," Gorbunov said.
Gorbunov said he did not rule out the possibility that the latest circumstances would not stop Navalny from actually participating in the Moscow mayoral elections on September 8.
"He will remain a candidate until his sentence comes into force. He has a right to appeal his conviction," the official said.
"It may take [Kirov's district court] ten days to produce a written copy of the verdict," Gorbunov said.
"The defense team has ten days after it receives a copy of the verdict to appeal it, and the regional court can consider the appeal for 30 days," he said.
The sentence will come into force only if the regional court upholds the lower court's ruling, he said.
Apart from that, the election commission is not allowed to remove a candidate from the ballot five days before the elections, he added.
Alexei Navalny is sentenced to five years in prison. He is to be taken in custody in the courtroom. The Leninsky District Court in Kirov has found businessman Pyotr Ofitserov guilty of embezzlement of property belonging to the state-run timber company Kirovles and sentenced him to four years in prison.
The court has ruled that Aleksey Navalny and his accomplice, Pyotr Ofitserov, caused 16 million rubles ($500,000) in damages to the state-owned Kirovles timber company where Navalny worked as a volunteer in 2009.
Opposition activist Alexei Navalny's claims that his prosecution for embezzlement of property belonging to a state-run company has been politically motivated are groundless, Judge Sergei Blinov of the Leninsky District Court in Kirov said in handing down a guilty verdict on Navalny on Thursday.
"Navalny's allegations about political motives behind his prosecution have not been confirmed by anything," Judge Blinov said.
The court on Thursday found Navalny and businessman Pyotr Ofitserov guilty of "organizing large-scale misappropriation or embezzlement of somebody else's property."
Navalny's lawyers have resolved to appeal the verdict. They will have a ten-day period to prepare the application. The Russian opposition figure could get a potential 6-year jail sentence as well as a one million ruble fine ($31,000).
The Leninsky District Court in Kirov has found opposition figure Alexei Navalny guilty of embezzlement at the Kirovles company.
Having considered materials of the case against Navalny and Pyotr Ofitserov, the court established that Navalny masterminded the embezzlement, judge Sergei Blinov said at the trial.
Ofitserov was found guilty of assisting the embezzlement, the judge said.
The Leninsky District Court of Kirov started to hear the criminal case on embezzlement from the Kirovles company on April 17.
The prosecution claims that more than 10,000 cubic meters of timber was stolen from Kirovles between May and September 2009, inflicting damages of more than 16 million rubles on the Kirov region's administration.
Navalny, who at that time served as an advisor to regional governor Nikita Belykh, is accused of organizing the alleged theft.
Ofitserov, who headed Vyatka Timber Company, and Kirovles chief executive Vyacheslav Opalev were accused of complicity in the alleged embezzlement.
Navalny is charged with "organization of the embezzlement of an exceptionally large amount of property".
In December 2012 Opalev was given a suspended four-year sentence with a probation period of three years. Prosecutor Yevgeny Cheremisinov said that Opalev had signed a plea bargain.
Governor Belykh was among those questioned during the trial.
Russian human rights activists consider the case against Navalny as political.
On July 17, the Moscow City Election Commission registered Navalny as candidate from the RPR-Parnas party at the Moscow mayoral election due on September 8.
A court in Russia is due to deliver a verdict in the high-profile corruption trial of protest leader Alexei Navalny.
Prosecutors are calling for a six-year jail term on charges of defrauding a timber firm of 16m roubles (£300,000; $500,000) - a claim he denies.
If convicted, he may not be able to contest September's mayoral elections in Moscow, despite being accepted as a candidate on Wednesday.
He would also have to miss the next presidential poll in 2018.
The court in the city of Kirov, about 900km (550 miles) north-east of Moscow, is expected to start delivering the verdict at 09:00 local time (05:00 GMT).
Voice of Russia, BBC, Interfax, RT