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    Russian ex-PM's opposition party to hold two-day congress

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    The Russian Peoples Democratic Union, an opposition party led by former-premier Mikhail Kasyanov, will hold its fourth party congress in the Moscow Region on Friday.

    MOSCOW, July 11 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Peoples Democratic Union, an opposition party led by former-premier Mikhail Kasyanov, will hold its fourth party congress in the Moscow Region on Friday.

    During the two-day conference the PDU, which has branches in 75 Russian regions, is expected to approve a new party manifesto, reelect its leader and representatives, as well as its presidium and supervisory board.

    Kasyanov accused the Russian authorities of "pressure and intimidation" after he was banned from running in the March presidential elections over "irregularities" in his application. The election commission alleged his supporters had collected forged signatures to support his bid.

    Kasyanov, who was sacked in 2004 by then president Putin, has also been accused of acquiring a luxury country house at a below market price while serving as premier, a claim he has always dismissed.

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