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MOSCOW, December 15 (Itar-Tass) — Literally three hours before midnight, Russian billionaire businessman Mikhail Prokhorov arrived at the Central Electoral Commission /CEC/ and submitted the documents confirming his self-nomination as a candidate for the March 2012 presidential election.
His nomination took place earlier in the day at a meeting of the spearhead public group. A source close to the billionaire told Itar-Tass the group includes more than 700 people and the meeting itself was held in the presence of about 200 reporters.
Quite a big number of well-known personalities could be seen at the meeting. They supported Prokhorov previously when he stood at the head of the Right Cause party.
Sources confirmed to Itar-Tass that the scope of showbiz and popular literature celebrities included pop diva Alla Pugachova, chansonnier Andrei Makarevich, theater and movie actors Leonid Yarmolnik and Konstantin Khabensky, writer Viktor Yerofeyev, and TV talk-show host Alexander Lyubimov.
Prokhorov handed to the CEC workgroup a rather impressive package of documents, including his personal written consent to run for presidency, the Xerox copies of his domestic passport and higher education certificate, the statement on revenues in the period of 2007 through to 2010, and other papers.
CEC technical experts will have five days now to examine and verify Prokhorov’s documents. If they endorse the package, his spearhead public group will be registered and permission will be issued to him to open a special account for accumulating an electoral fund.
To get an official registration as a presidential candidate, Prokhorov and other self-nominees will have to gather 2 million signatures in their support. The deadline for submitting the signup lists to the CEC is 18:00 hours Moscow Standard Time /14:00 hours GMT/ January 18, 2012.
CEC forecasts suggesting that Thursday, the last day for self-nomination would be quite eventful proved true.
Earlier in the day, former mayor of Vladivostok, Viktor Cherepkov turned in his documents. It was his second go, as Wednesday the CEC workgroup offered him to eliminate some inconsistencies in the paperwork.
The documents were also submitted by the Irkutsk region governor, Dmitry Mezentsev, and Svetlana Peunova, the leader of the Volya /Will/ movement.
One more person who presented his documents was writer Boris Mironov, whose works became the subject of complaints a few years ago over the presence in them of what was described as extremist motifs.
Still earlier, the CEC received the documents from healer Nikolai Levashov, Colonel-General /Ret./ Leonid Ivashov, and a certain Renat Khamiyev from the town of Orsk in the Orenburg region.
CEC Secretary Nikolai Konkin told reporters the final number of self-nominees will be known Friday. He indicated that the nomination campaign is anyway at the very outset right now.