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Luzhkov set for fifth term as Moscow mayor -1

MOSCOW, June 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted Friday Yury Luzhkov's candidacy for the post of mayor to the Moscow legislature.

Luzhkov, whose position is formally equal to that of a regional governor, was appointed mayor in 1992 by President Boris Yeltsin and won three re-elections until Putin scrapped elections of governors in 2005.

He was reportedly considering resigning later this year, but recently sent a formal request to Putin asking for re-nomination.

Luzhkov is one of Russia's most controversial politicians. Although he has overseen an economic boom in Moscow in recent years, he has repeatedly been accused of corruption, and demolishing Moscow's historical buildings.

His wife, Elena Baturina, was until recently the head of one of the largest construction companies in Moscow, and is rated by Forbes Magazine as Russia's richest businesswoman, with a personal fortune of well over $1 billion.

Luzhkov has become notorious in the West for his refusal to allow gay parades in the capital, which he considers "satanic," despite pressure from his London and Berlin counterparts.

The incumbent mayor is also known in Russia for a leather cap he always wears in public - even during the recent record-hot days in Moscow - and for his passion for bee-keeping. He has arranged honey fairs in Manezh, one of Moscow's leading exhibition venues, near the Kremlin.

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