MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has registered the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Vladimir Zhirinovsky as its presidential candidate on Friday. He is the first to complete the registration process.
The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia nominated Zhirinovsky to run for president at the LDPR Congress held on December 20. Thereafter, on December 21, he turned in the documents required for nomination to the CEC. On December 22, the CEC registered the authorized persons representing both the party and Zhirinovsky, and granted him permission to open a special account to collect funds for his election campaign. According to national law, the maximum amount of money a candidate is allowed to collect for the presidential campaign is 400 mln rubles ($6.9 mln).
The Central Election Commission also authorized CEC member Igor Mokhovikov to represent Zhirinovsky’s interests during the election campaign.
Zhirinovsky submitted his nomination documents to the CEC on December 27, ahead of all other candidates. This time, only two candidates nominated by parliamentary parties are eligible for fast-track registration - Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Pavel Grudinin, the director of the Lenin Farm outside Moscow, nominated for to run for president by the Russian Communist Party.
Candidates nominated by non-parliamentary parties must collect at least 100,000 voter signatures in their support in order to be registered as presidential contenders, while independent candidates, including Russia’s incumbent head of state Vladimir Putin, will have to gather at least 300,000.
Zhirinovsky is going to run for president for the sixth time. He bowed out of running in the 2004 presidential election, when LDPR nominated State Duma (lower house of parliament) member Oleg Malyshkin as its presidential contender. In the 2008 presidential election, Zhirinovsky achieved his best result so far, chalking up as much as nine percent of the vote.
The Russian presidential election will be held on March 18, 2018.