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    VIKTOR GERASHCHENKO MAY NOT ENTER PRESIDENTIAL RACE

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    MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti correspondent Nikolai Makarov) - At its session on Thursday, the Central Election Commission (CEC) will consider the question of refusing to register Viktor Gerashchenko as a presidential candidate.

    CEC chairman Alexander Veshnyakov repeatedly spoke of the possibility of such a decision if Gerashchenko refuses to collect signatures in his support.

    Ex-head of the Central Bank, Viktor Gerashchenko, who had entered the Duma on the list of the Homeland bloc, was nominated for the presidency by this bloc at the end of the last year. Under the law, a presidential candidate, who represents the association elected to the Duma, has the right not to collect two million constituents' signatures. However, the Homeland bloc's co-chairman Sergei Glazyev has nominated himself for the supreme post in the country.

    To observe the norms of the law, all the three parties, the founders of the Homeland bloc, have had to hold their congresses and nominate a presidential candidate. However, this has not been done. Only the Party of Russian Regions did it. Thus, from the formal point of view, Gerashchenko was nominated only by one party and, therefore, for his registration he has to present the constituents' signatures in his support to the Central Election Commission.

    At the same time the Homeland bloc may be left without its candidate, because yesterday the leaders of the parties, the founders of the bloc, stated that "Viktor Gerashchenko is the only candidate, supported by the bloc and having the right to represent it." The statement by the leaders of the Homeland bloc says that "the bloc's Supreme Council did not take a decision to support Sergei Glazyev's self-nomination."

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