Communist candidate cleared to run for Russian presidency
Russia’s top election authority greenlit Nikolay Kharitonov on Tuesday to run for president on the Communist Party of Russia (KPRF) ticket, representing one of the oldest political forces in the country. The election is scheduled to take place in mid-March.
Kharitonov is the third candidate to have paperwork approved by the Central Election Commission. Last Friday, Leonid Slutsky of the veteran nationalist LDPR party and Vladislav Dvankov of the relatively new, centrist New People party were validated to run.
Kharitonov says he seeks to ensure Russia’s future as a powerful nation that gains strength from its multiethnic people. Ella Pamfilova, the election commission chairwoman, pledged the body’s support for his run as mandated by Russian law.
Eight other Russian citizens – including incumbent President Vladimir Putin, who is running as an independent and is widely considered to be the frontrunner – are yet to be cleared by the commission.
One of those awaiting aproval shares Kharitonov’s political ideology, but not his party allegiance. Sergey Malinkovich was nominated by the Communists of Russia, a minor force that has been critical of the KPRF’s strategy for influencing national policy.
Following the news that Kharitonov’s candidacy had been accepted, long-time KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov announced that the party had finalized the 15-point campaign manifesto, which will soon be approved by the leadership, he said.
The KPRF was founded in 1990 and claims to be the successor to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which was de jure the only political force in the USSR for most of its history. It has consistently maintained a presence in the lower chamber of parliament, the State Duma, although its strength peaked at 157 out of 450 seats in the mid-1990s and currently stands at under 60.