Russia » Politics
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Russia launches most unpredictable presidential campaign in history

Russia has officially launched the presidential race on November 28. The election of the president of the Russian Federation will take place on March 2, 2008, according to the decision of the Federation Council made on November 26.

Vladimir Churov, the chairman of the Central Electoral Committee of Russia, said that potential participants of the race would soon start to nominate their candidacies. A candidate will have to collect two million signatures in his or her support. However, the politicians, who overcome the minimum level of seven percent during the forthcoming parliamentary elections on December 2, will be relieved of the signature-collecting procedure.

The candidates will have to submit all necessary documents to the Central Electoral Committee before December 18. All the candidates will be registered from December 12 till January 16. The list of presidential candidates will thus become known at the end of the current year.

The agitation period starts on the nomination day of a candidate and ends 24 hours before the voting. A candidate will need to win the support of more than 50 percent of electors. If none of the candidates reach the required level, a runoff election will be held in three weeks.

More than five billion rubles have been assigned from the state budget for the presidential election in Russia.

Incumbent President Vladimir Putin will not be allowed to run for presidency according to the Constitution. However, Putin has repeatedly emphasized the need to guarantee the succession of power in the country. That is why Putin will most likely point out his preferences during the pre-election campaign. Making a speech at the forum of his followers, which took place last week at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium, Putin said that the results of the parliamentary elections would outline the outcome of the presidential election.

Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, Yabloko faction leader Grigory Yavlinsky, one of the leaders of the Union of Rightist Forces Boris Nemtsov, former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, the leader of the United Civil Front, Garry Kasparov, former chairman of the Central Bank, Viktor Geraschenko and the leader of the Liberal and Democratic Party of Russia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, have expressed their intention to run for presidency so far.


Translated by Dmitry Sudakov