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Central Election Committee has published the list of candidates
The Central Election Committee has published the list of candidates who will run for president in March. Alexander Veshnyakov, the CEC chairman, described the list of those wanting to take over the helm, or at least pretending to do so, as the ''6 plus 4 scheme''. On Monday the CEC ordered the candidates not backed by parties to begin collecting signatures in their support. The finalized list of candidates for the Russian presidency became clearer on Monday. There are currently ten hopefuls, though some of them may well drop out as the campaign unfolds. After the holiday break the CEC gathered for its first session of the new year on Monday evening. The session was to register the action groups backing the self-nominated candidacies of Sergei Glazyev, Irina Khakamada and Anzori Aksentiev-Kikalishvili. Also on Monday Veshnyakov’s agency officially registered Nikolai Kharitonov and Viktor Gerashchenko, nominated by the Communists and the Motherland bloc respectively. After the action groups and the official representatives were registered, all candidates received the right to begin collecting signatures in their support. Thus, the CEC list of presidential candidates currently includes Vladimir Putin, Ivan Rybkin, Vladimir Bryntsalov, Sergei Glazyev, Aksentiev-Kikalishvili and Irina Khakamada, who are all running independently of political parties, as well as party-nominated Viktor Gerashchenko (Motherland), Nikolai Kharitonov (CPRF) and Oleg Malyshkin (LDPR). Sergei Mironov, picked as the candidate from the Russian Party of Life, is expected to apply shortly. According to political observers, there will be no other candidates. Two reasons this list of candidates can be considered final are that the deadline for self-nominations has already expired and the main political parties, which by law have the right to nominate their candidates till January 6, have already made their choices. As of January 6 candidates can only pull out of the race. As a result of the CEC’s actions the number of challengers to the incumbent decreased on December 27, when German Sterligov, a coffin magnate, known for his nationalist views, and a recent rival to Yuri Luzhkov at the mayor’s election in Moscow, was denied registration. On Monday Gazeta.Ru learnt that the next candidate to leave the field will be the former head of the Russian Central Bank Viktor Gerashchenko, a member of the Motherland bloc. Gazeta.Ru wrote earlier that the bloc’s supreme council, its governing body, named Gerashchenko as its presidential candidate, at the same time recommending Sergei Glazyev, a Motherland co-founder, to take part as an independent candidate. Then sources in the Motherland leadership told Gazeta.Ru that Gerashchenko, most likely, would be denied registration by the CEC, since not all the members of the bloc had held their pre-election congresses before he was nominated, as required by law. Yesterday those rumours saw confirmation at the CEC session. It turned out that Gerashchenko was nominated not by Motherland, but one of the parties which form the bloc – the Party of Russian Regions. Gerashchenko has avoided being denied registration, but will now have to collect 2 million signatures, just like all the other self-nominees. (In line with the law on the election of the President of the Russian Federation, to be officially registered with the electoral authorities, candidates nominated by political parties that have won representation in the State Duma, are not required to submit signatures collected in support of their candidate). Immediately after the Monday session a high-placed source in the bloc told Gazeta.Ru that Gerashchenko would certainly not manage to collect those signatures and will be disqualified by the end of January. As regards Sergei Mirinov, whose desire to become president sounded somewhat comical from the very start (as he announced his intention to run, the Federation Council speaker also said that he sincerely wished victory to Vladimir Putin), his action group is to be registered shortly. Mironov has been nominated by the Party of Life, which failed to overcome the 5 per cent voting threshold necessary for Duma representation, so the speaker will also have to collect signatures. Summing up the results of the CEC session on Monday, Veshnyakov said: ''The picture is clear; what we have is the six plus four scheme,'' referring to the 6 self-nominees and the 4 candidates nominated by political parties.
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