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    MOSCOW, March 12, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Presidential hopeful Irina Khakamada believes that if she garners a scarce number of votes at the upcoming presidential elections, this would become another defeat for the disunited Democratic leaders who have already failed to join the State Duma (lower house) after the December 7 parliamentary elections.

    The former co-chairman of the Union of Right Forces (SPS), Irina Khakamada has forwarded herself as an independent presidential candidate. The SPS will "vote freely," whereas Yabloko has called on its members to boycott the presidential elections. Some leaders intend to vote against all candidates.

    "The low percentage [of votes in my favour] would result from the actions of democratic leaders who failed to forward a candidate again. Some urged to 'boycott' the elections, some - to 'vote against all', and some 'only complained'," said Ms Khakamada at her last press conference in RIA Novosti before the elections.

    Head of her campaign headquarters Marina Litvinovich has told reporters that if her candidate crossed the 5-% margin, this would be seen as a success.

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