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Russia's second official presidential candidate is a businessman, and he's representing the Communist Party


Russia’s Central Election Commission has formally registered a second official candidate in the country’s March presidential election. Businessman Pavel Grudinin will represent Russia’s Communist Party.

January 12 was the last day presidential hopefuls could submit candidacy applications to federal election officials. Seventy individuals filed applications this year: 24 candidates from registered political parties and 46 independents. People representing parties need to collect 100,000 signatures supporting their candidacy (while representatives of political parties with representation in the State Duma are exempt from this requirement), and independents (like Vladimir Putin) must gather 300,000 signatures.

Grudinin joins LDPR’s Vladimir Zhirinovsky as an officially registered presidential candidate. Still working to collect the necessary number of signatures are Vladimir Putin, “Yabloko” founder Grigory Yavlinsky, journalist and TV celebrity Ksenia Sobchak, Entrepreneurs’ Rights Commissioner Boris Titov, and others.

On December 25, federal election officials refused to register oppositionist Alexey Navalny’s presidential candidacy nomination on the grounds that he is still serving a felony probation sentence. According to election law, Navalny is ineligible for elected office until at least 2028. He has vowed to challenge the law in the European Court of Human Rights.