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    MOSCOW, February 6th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - At its meeting on Friday, the Central Election Commission (CEC) registered a group of confidants for Vladimir Putin as a presidential candidate.

    Another 109 people have become confidants of the incumbent head of state running for a second term. Among them are directors of enterprises, educational and health establishments, businessmen and people in the arts.

    The meeting noted that 22 presidential confidants who are state officials submitted relevant documents proving that they are going to suspend their professional activity for the run-up period, to CEC, as the law requires them to do.

    Earlier, the Central Election Commission registered another 252-strong support group for Putin's candidacy.

    According to the law, presidential hopefuls' confidants, in particular, have the right to promote their candidate during the election campaign.

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