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United Russia party to reveal presidential candidate shortly

The country's biggest political party, United Russia, is to name its candidate for the 2008 Presidential election on December 17. Party leader Boris Gryzlov said the announcement will be made at a special party congress in Moscow.

President Putin headed the party's list in last Sunday's parliamentary election. United Russia went on to win a landslide victory, giving it a huge majority in the State Duma.

Valentina Matvienko, the Governor of St. Petersburg and a party member, said before any announcement is made, the candidacy will be discussed at length during party meetings.

Registration of candidates for the March 2 presidential election will be completed on January 16.

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