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MOSCOW, January 20 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Central Election Commission on Friday denied registration to three contenders to run for the presidential elections. The three are ex-Vladivostok mayor Viktor Cherepkov, public figure from Orenburg Rinat Khamiyev and leader of the unregistered Will party Svetlana Peunova.
Cherepkov and Khamiyev did not submit two million signatures to the CEC at all, and Peunova presented only 243,000 signatures of support, almost ten times fewer than required.
Meanwhile, Peunova seems not to agree with the election commission's decision. She organized a meeting of her supporters outside the CEC building. As on January 18, during the procedure when she presented the signatures, Peunova states that it is absolutely impossible to honestly collect two million signatures.
Viktor Cherepkov also has not agreed with the decision. In his rather extended speech, he said that the signatures collection procedure was a violation of the constitutional principle of citizens' equality. He made it clear that he would appeal against the decision and if he met no understanding from the Russian justice, he would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Cherepkov cited the statistics of his participation in various elections. "I was removed from elections for 32 times. It is the 33th time today.” He also gave the following phrase: "Cherepkov's fate is like the Kulikovo field, on which people fight for their rights."
Khamiyev was not present at the meeting and even did not send his representatives.
Officially registered presidential candidates are Prime-Minister Vladimir Putin nominated by United Russia, Communist Party Central Committee Chairman Gennady Zyuganov, Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov and LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky. As nominees from parliament parties, they are not required to collect signatures.
The Central Election Commission on Thursday began to check the lists of Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky and two self-nominees -- businessman Mikhail Prokhorov and the Irkutsk Region's Governor Dmitry Mezentsev. The commission has ten days for the procedure. On January 29, it will be known what names will be on the ballot in the Russian presidential elections, which will be held on March 4.