Six candidates registered to run for Russia’s presidency

The deadline has passed for Russia's political parties to nominate their presidential candidates for the 2008 election. The Central Election Commission has received applications from six candidates.

The nominees are Dmitry Medvedev for the United Russia party, Gennady Zyuganov representing the Communists, Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the Liberal Democratic Party and Boris Nemtsov of the Union of Right Forces or SPS. There are also two self-nominees – former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and the Democratic Party leader, Andrey Bogdanov.

The full list will be officially announced if approved by the Central Election Commission.

The candidates who are not in the State Duma are now busy gathering the two million signatures they need to be eligible for the race. So it means that only Zyuganov, Zhirinovsky and Medvedev can devote themselves fully to campaigning.

Six candidates have voiced their intention to run for Russian president
Six candidates have voiced their intention to run for Russian president

While the country is celebrating the New Year, foremost in the candidates’ minds will be the busy campaign ahead.

Medvedev is the clear front-runner in the race. The First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has the a strident backing of at least four parties, including United Russia, which gained 64 per cent in the Duma election. But his main advantage is the man he’s been working with for 16 years and can always listen to.

According to a recent survey by the Russian public opinion research centre, Mededev leaves other contenders trailing in his wake.

People were asked which politician they would vote for if the presidential election were held next Sunday. Around 45 per cent of those polled preferred Dmitry Medvedev, ahile Zhirinovsky of the LDPR and the Communists' leader Gennady Zuyganov came second with 5 per cent each. Other presidential hopefuls gained less than 1 percent of popular support.