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24 Jan, 2008 09:11

Fake signature probe could sink presidential bid

Russia's Central Election Commission says it has grounds to reject the registration of Mikhail Kasyanov as a presidential candidate. Officials say more than 13 per cent of the signatures submitted by Kasyanov are invalid.

«13.5 per cent of signatures submitted by candidate Kasyanov are not valid. That exceeds the 5 per cent limit. The  total number of valid signatures is less than two million. So we have two reasons to deny Kasyanov registration,» said Nikolay Konkin from the Central Election Commission.

As an independent candidate, Kasyanov needed to gather two million signatures to be eligible to run for the post. 

Prosecutors have launched a fraud case against the former prime minister. They say more than 15,500 false signatures have been collected in central Russia and the Republic of Mary El in Russia's Volga District.

Meanwhile, the candidacy of another independent presidential hopeful, Andrey Bogdanov, has been registered by the Central Election Commission.