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Why would a freemason run for president?

Andrey Bogdanov, Candidate, Russian presidential election, March 2, 2008

1970 - Born in Moscow
1990 - Joins Democratic Party of Russia
1993 - Graduates, Russian Economic Academy
2003 - Receives PhD, Moscow State University
2008 - Runs for president

Russia has scheduled its next presidential election for March 2. The current President, Vladimir Putin, isn't allowed by the country's constitution to seek a third consecutive term in the office. Four candidates were approved by the Central Election Commission on the 27th of January. Andrey Bogdanov, a Russian politician, Mason, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Russia and Chairman of the Democratic Party of Russia, is one of them. He began his political career in 1990, when he joined the Democratic Party of Russia. Bogdanov is known as a fierce advocate of Russia's integration into Europe. His party failed to make it into the State Duma in the December 2 parliamentary election, gaining only 0.1% of the vote. And yet he somehow managed to collect the two million signatures needed to register as an independent candidate for the presidential election.