Putin-backed Medvedev hugely leads Russian presidential race: Poll

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Moscow, Feb 18 (UNI) A public opinion poll conducted by the state-run All Russian Public Opinion Centre (VTsIOM) said today 69.9 per cent of voters intend to vote for the presidential candidate Dmitry Medvedev, backed by President Vladimir Putin.

The presidential election in Russia is scheduled to be held on March 2 after which Putin is expected to step down after completing two consecutive terms. Putin has also said he will accept the post of Prime Minister if Medvedev wins the election.

The poll also said the Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov would come second with 9.1 per cent of the vote and ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky would be third with 7.8 per cent.

The leader of the little known Russian Democratic Party Andrei Bogdanov would receive just 0.9 per cent of the vote, it added.

The poll was conducted on February 9-10 among a sample of 1,600 respondents, with an error margin not exceeding 3.4 per cent.

UNI XC RJ

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