Russian Anti-Putin Presidential Candidates Face Long Odds

By: AP
By: AP

MOSCOW (AP) -- European election observers say that presidential
hopefuls running against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin face "biased" reports by Kremlin-controlled media and constant government pressure.

Tiny Kox, who heads the Council of Europe mission to Russia,
said Saturday that all four candidates complain that Putin's
government is using its "administrative resources" to influence
voters, while Russian television extensively covers Putin's
activities.

The candidates are Communist Party chief Gennady Zyuganov,
ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, socialist Just Russia leader
Sergei Mironov and billionaire tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov.

Other politicians have been denied registration in the race on
technicalities.

Despite recent opposition rallies, Putin seems certain to win
the March 4 vote.


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