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Zhirinovsky says he will not run for the presidency on March 14
MOSCOW - Addressing delegates at the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) congress on Friday, the party chairman, Vladimir Zhirinovsky said he will not run for the presidency in the forthcoming election slated for March 14. Four other candidates are being discussed at the congress, according to the Izvestia daily newspaper. “Legally, I will be not a candidate”, Zhirinovsky said. “But I will address the [party's] electorate personally and use all free and paid ways to propagate the LDPR and explain its position to the people”. His decision not to run notwithstanding, Zhirinovsky’s electoral rating, according to the recent survey conducted by The Public-Opinion Fund, is a lot higher than those of other potential presidential candidates as he is the second most popular candiate, after President Vladimir Putin, with 6 percent approval rating. Putin, the runaway favorite expected to win the election, has the highest approval rating, which has skyrocketed to about 66 percent since he had declared his intention to seek a second term. The survey was conducted on Dec. 20-21, 2003 by polling 3,000 people from 200 Russian regions. However, it seems such rating will not attract some liberal politicians to Putin's victory-bound train. For instance, Boris Nadezhdin, one of Union of Right Forces (SPS) key members, has denied that SPS could support Putin under certain circumstances in the election campaign. ‘I've never said anything like that”, he stated, adding that the SPS position regarding the election would be discussed at the party's congress on Jan. 23.
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