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    VESHNYAKOV: NO CANDIDATE LIKELY TO WITHDRAW FROM RACE

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    MOSCOW, March 4, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Alexander Veshnyakov, head of the Central Election Commission, has ruled out a possibility of any candidate withdrawing from the election race.

    At a press conference on Thursday, Veshnyakov said that Russia's presidential candidates had presented their financial reports about their campaign funds in line with the Russian legislation.

    According to him, Ivan Rybkin's fund increased by 11 million from 50 million roubles ($1 equals about 29 roubles) as of March 3.

    Irina Khakamada's fund doubled - from 25 to 54 million roubles, and Sergei Mironov's went up from 31.8 to 40.5 million roubles over a week.

    The funds of the rest of the candidates remained the same: Sergei Glazyev's - 9.2 million roubles, Oleg Malyshkin's - 25 million roubles, and Nikolai Kharitonov's - 6.9 million.

    Vladimir Putin's campaign finances slightly went up. According to Veshnyakov, it was 37 million roubles and now stands at 38.7 million.

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