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Former Russian PM challenges refusal to register him as presidential candidate
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08:31, February 02, 2008

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Russia's former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov appealed on Friday to the Russian Supreme Court against a refusal of Russian election authorities to register him as a presidential candidate.

"We are lodging a complaint to the Supreme Court against the Central Election Commission (CEC) decision to refuse to register me as a presidential candidate," said Kasyanov's spokeswoman Yelena Dikun.

"Two million citizens gave their votes in my support, and I must assert their position to the end," Kasyanov's official website cited him as saying.

On Jan. 27, the CEC voted unanimously to refuse to register Kasyanov as a candidate for the March 2 election, alleging there were too many forged signatures among the 2 million that he was required to gather from supporters for registration.

After checking the signature lists of Kasyanov's supporters, the CEC claimed that 13.36 percent of them were invalid, which exceeded the 5 percent threshold.

Kasyanov's supporters objected to this by saying that, out of the 600,000 signatures analyzed by the CEC specialists, only 213 were "given by other people," and the rest of the documents included formatting mistakes, which does not make the signatures themselves fake.

Kasyanov needs 2 million signatures of support to register as a candidate in the election because he does not represent a party in the Russian parliament.

On Jan. 16, the former prime minister, who later became an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, submitted documents for registration as a candidate for the Russian presidency to the CEC, including 2 million signatures of citizens in his support.

Kasyanov, who served as prime minister in President Vladimir Putin's first term, had little chance of winning, with polls showing he had less than 1 percent support.

Source: Xinhua



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