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  Monday, October 21, 2019
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Gennady Zyuganov said he is ready to run for president in 2008
The leader of Russia's Communist Party, Gennady Zyuganov, said he is ready to run for president in 2008, and his deputy said the party had given its backing. "A leader of a major party, who has received votes from half the country, must be ready to receive the support of the people," Zyuganov, said. His deputy, Ivan Melnikov, said the Communist Party had already adopted a resolution on its leader's nomination. Zyuganov will be on a list of presidential hopefuls that already includes former premier Mikhail Kasyanov, now leader of the Russian People's Patriotic Union, Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the liberal Yabloko Party, dissident Vladimir Bukovsky nominated by the opposition, and former Central Bank chairman Viktor Gerashchenko. The State Duma, parliament's lower house, has passed new registration rules expanding the grounds for election authorities to deny registration to candidates. Opposition parties also complain of few opportunities to appear on TV or in other mass media in the country ahead of the elections. President Vladimir Putin, who has been increasingly criticized in the West for his anti-democratic record but who remains popular within Russia, has repeatedly denied the possibility of his staying in office for a third term, but is widely expected to name "a successor".
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