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Russian opposition party forwards ex-premier to run for 2008 presidency-1

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The Russian People's Democratic Union has forwarded its leader and former premier Mikhail Kasyanov as a candidate for the 2008 presidential elections.
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MOSCOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian People's Democratic Union has forwarded its leader and former premier Mikhail Kasyanov as a candidate for the 2008 presidential elections.

Kasyanov, 49, was President Vladimir Putin's first prime minister in 2000-2004 until the president sacked his Cabinet. After falling out with Putin, Kasyanov announced in a news conference he might run for presidency in 2008.

His party is a member of the Other Russian opposition coalition, which also includes chess-champion-turned-politician Garry Kasparov's liberal United Civil Front and radical writer Eduard Limonov's National Bolshevik Party.

The coalition has held a series of rallies to protest what it sees as the Kremlin's backsliding on democracy. It accuses President Putin and his associates of infringing on liberal freedoms and muzzling the opposition.

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