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    FOURTH CANDIDATE REGISTERED FOR RUSSIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

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    MOSCOW, February 6, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Central Election Commission has registered a fourth candidate for the country's president to be elected on March 14th. On Friday the Commission unanimously endorsed the candidacy of Sergei Mironov, speaker of the Federation Council (the upper chamber of the Russian parliament).

    Mironov was nominated by the Russian Party of Life founded last year. He submitted to the Commission the necessary 2.5 million of voters' signatures in his support. According to the Commission's member, it randomly checked 600,000 signatures and only 31,000 out of them, a little over 5 percent, were found invalid or unauthentic.

    Earlier the Commission had already registered Communist Nikholai Kharitonov, LDPR member Oleg Malyshkin and incumbent President Vladimir Putin. This weekend it is expected to consider registration of three other presidential hopefuls, including leader of the rightwing opposition Irina Khakamada.

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