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Seasoned politician makes sixth presidential run, vows to be ‘best and brightest’ nominee

December 20, 2017, 15:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW

LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky has promised that he will compel Russian oligarchs to return all money they had taken from the country, if he wins the presidency

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LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky

LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky

© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, whose presidential nomination was discussed by the party’s congress on Wednesday, has vowed that he possesses a unique record of participation in presidential election campaigns.

"It’ll be the sixth time I’ll be running for president. Can you grasp the enormity of this pressure? Nobody in Europe is capable of tossing their hat into the ring for the presidency six times. This isn’t a disco or a New Year’s eve celebration, is it? You’ve got to really use your noggin to prove that you’re the best and the brightest and stand out from the millions and millions of your fellow citizens," Zhirinovsky told the party’s 31st Congress on Wednesday.

He believes that Russia deserves to be governed "by the very best, the strongest, boldest and most courageous person, capable of speaking off the cuff without looking down at the notes."

"The nation’s highest office must go to the most experienced individual. I’m 71, and 43 years of my life I spent under Soviet rule. There’s no chance of governing Russia well enough without living through the main stages of the country’s history first, and not just living through them, but by staying active all the time," Zhirinovsky pointed out.

He recalled that it was the LDPR’s 31st congress, which was in itself a record of sorts for the Russian political system.

"No other party has held as many congresses. This is our seventh presidential election campaign. There’ve been 14 federal campaigns (all in all). Over the years, I’ve toured the country 642 times," Zhirinovsky emphasized.

"There can be a runoff election. Supposing Vladimir Putin wins 48%, while I secure 45%. I am certain that we can count on 30% anyway," Zhirinovsky told reporters on Wednesday.

He added that he plans to hand over all necessary documents to Russia’s Central Election Commission on Thursday expressing the hope that he would be registered as a candidate before the New Year.

"We already have the right to launch our campaign throughout the country," the LDPR leader added.

The firebrand candidate has promised that he will compel Russian oligarchs to return all money they had taken from the country, if he wins the presidency.

"One trillion dollars has been funneled overseas. Nobody has ever tried to get the money back. I will. I will gather them (the oligarchs) in the Kremlin… and tell them: ‘Time to cough up (what you took),’ Zhirinovsky told the LDPR Congress on Monday after his nomination for president from the party in the 2018 presidential election.

"They’ll pay up that I promise you. They will bring all the money back. [US President Donald] Trump will help. He will start imposing sanctions and freezing bank accounts and money. He’ll give me a call, and I’ll tell him: ‘You’ve got just one week to return everything. Hurry and return everything to Russia,’" Zhirinovsky said.

He said he was well aware of the needs of the country’s poor and promised to improve the nation’s living standards.

"Better food, better healthcare, education, housing, benefits and tax breaks - there are many measures that we will be able to propose," Zhirinovsky vowed.

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