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Only four candidates make the cut for Russian presidential run, first time since 2008

"The decision has been approved," CEC Chairwoman Ella Pamfilova said at the meeting
Members of the CEC of Russia Mikhail Sinitsyn/TASS
Members of the CEC of Russia
© Mikhail Sinitsyn/TASS

MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. A meeting of Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has approved the ballot for the Russian presidential election, and for the first time since 2008, there will only be four candidates - Leonid Slutsky of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), Vladislav Davankov of New People, Nikolay Kharitonov of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) and incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is running for a fifth term as an independent.

"The decision has been approved," CEC Chairwoman Ella Pamfilova said at the meeting.

Eight candidates were on the ballot in the last Russian presidential election in 2018. The last time that only four candidates ran for president was in 2008, when Dmitry Medvedev (nominated by the ruling United Russia party), Gennady Zyuganov (KPRF), Vladimir Zhirinovsky (who previously headed the LDPR), and Andrey Bogdanov (an independent) vied for Russia’s top office. The highest number of presidential candidates - eleven - was registered in 2000.

On February 8, the CEC declined to register presidential hopeful Sergey Malinkovich of the Communists of Russia party and Boris Nadezhdin of the Civic Initiative party, citing a high percentage of invalid signatures submitted in their support. The percentage was above the permissible 5% (14.9% for Malinkovich and 15.2% for Nadezhdin). After being denied a spot on the ballot, Nadezhdin announced his intention to appeal this decision to Russia’s Supreme Court.

Additionally, self-nominated bloggers Rada Russkikh and Anatoly Batashev were denied the right to run because they failed to collect the required number of signatories and lacked certain documents. February 10 is the last day to put in a bid for the presidency.

The Federation Council has scheduled the presidential election for March 17, 2024. Voting will take place over three days - on March 15, 16 and 17. Thus, it will be the first three-day election for Russia’s president.