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Sergey Furgal for President? LDPR leader refuses to rule out choosing ousted Khabarovsk governor as 2024 presidential nominee

Sergey Furgal for President? LDPR leader refuses to rule out choosing ousted Khabarovsk governor as 2024 presidential nominee
The former Governor of Khabarovsk, Sergey Furgal, won’t be excluded from the opposition LDPR party, even if found guilty, and could stand for Russian President if acquitted of murder, according to its leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

Furgal, who was elected to his post in September 2018, was arrested on July 9 on suspicion of ordering three murders –two successful and one failed– in the mid-2000s. Following his detention, he was flown to Moscow, where he is currently awaiting trial.

"We won’t rule it out. He’s still ours. We will keep him in the ranks of the LDPR, we will support him, we will give him the opportunity to live in Khabarovsk or Moscow," said Zhirinovsky, speaking to radio station Ekho Moskvy. "If he is not found guilty, we will be happy to include him in the list of candidates." 

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Following his 2018 election triumph, Furgal’s party won a landslide victory in the region’s local election. His popularity has persisted even after his arrests, and the city of Khabarovsk has seen supportive protests every day since July 11. Following his detainment, Furgal was fired by Russian President Vladimir Putin and replaced by Mikhail Degtyarev, another LDPR member, originally from Samara.  

The LDPR is an ultra-nationalist far-right party and the third most popular in Russia. The faction has 39 of the 450 seats in the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, and their 2018 presidential candidate Zhirinovsky received 5.65 percent of the national vote.

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