MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. The congress of Russia's Liberal Democratic Party, which will approve the nomination of its leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, as its candidate for Russia’s president, will be held in late December, Zhirinovsky told reporters on Tuesday.
"I have been nominated by the party’s top officials and lawmakers to discuss my candidacy at the 31st LDPR congress, which will convene in Moscow in a month’s time, in late December. Of course, I am very happy and enthusiastic about that," Zhirinovsky said. He admitted that the party was "very optimistic" about the upcoming presidential campaign. "We are poised for achieving good results," he added.
Zhirinovsky described the LDPR as the most experienced political party in Russia. "At all stages of all election campaigns, the LDPR has always taken part in them. We are always in the limelight. If I ever find myself on the sidelines, the LDPR will always exist as a powerful party that has taken shape and has its own voters," he stressed.
"We are not a party of oligarchs. We are a party of all Russia, the middle class, and the whole country needs our candidate," Zhirinovsky concluded.
Earlier in the day, the LDPR parliamentary faction announced plans to nominate Vladimir Zhirinovsky as its candidate for Russia’s president.
Russia’s presidential election is due on March 18, 2018. The election campaign will begin officially on a yet-to-be determined date between December 7 and 17.
The Central Election Commission has said more than once that as long as the election campaign has not begun, no actions by those declaring their intention to contest the presidency can fall under election laws. To be registered as a candidate a presidential hopeful from a parliamentary party does not have to launch a sign-up campaign. A candidate from an out-of-parliament party is expected to present 100,000 signatures, and a self-nominee, 300,000.
By now presidential ambitions have been announced by LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, founder of the Yabloko party Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the Communists of Russia party Maksim Suraikin, business tycoon Sergey Polonsky, singer and journalist Yekaterina Gordon and blogger Aleksey Navalny. CEC chief Ella Pamfilova has repeatedly explained that Navalny has no chances of being registered a presidential candidate in the forthcoming election due to an unspent conviction. The leaders of some non-governmental organizations, too, have declared their intention to run for president.
The leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), Gennady Zyuganov, has repeatedly stated that his party would conduct its election campaign as a team and its candidate would be announced at the party congress in late December. The United Russia and A Just Russia parties have said nothing about their participation in the election campaign yet.
The incumbent president, Vladimir Putin, has made no statements yet, either, about his participation or non-participation in the election of the head of state in 2018.