Six candidates to contest Russia's presidential election

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Moscow, Dec 24 (UNI) Six candidates will contest Russia's presidential election on March 2, after the deadline for filing nominations ended yesterday.

Russian Central Election Commission secretary Nikolai Konkin told Interfax news agency that the Commission accepted the nomination papers of the six candidates, which include three independents.

Mr Konkin said the candidates included First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Union of Right Forces leader Boris Nemtsov and Democratic Party leader Andrei Bogdanov.

Mr Medvedev's candidacy was backed by the pro-Kremlin parties United Russia and A Just Russia, while Mr Zyuganov and Mr Zhirinovsky were nominated by their parties.

The four parties are the only ones in the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament and, hence, their candidates won automatic approval from the Election Commission.

The other three candidates have to collect two million signatures in support of their bids and submit them to the Commission by January 16.

The exact list of candidates to be spelled out in the ballot at the March 2 presidential elections will be compiled after January 27.

Mr Medvedev is expected to win the election after President Vladimir Putin backed his candidacy.

UNI

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