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Russia’s right-wing LDPR reveals candidate to challenge Putin — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

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The Liberal Democratic Party has announced that its leader, Leonid Slutsky, will be its representative in the upcoming presidential race

The head of the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), Leonid Slutsky, has officially been nominated to participate in the March 2024 Russian presidential election following a vote at the party’s congress on Tuesday.

The announcement comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin officially submitted documents to be a contender for the upcoming race, seeking reelection for a fifth term in office. He has chosen to run as an independent candidate.

Out of 108 delegates that attended the LDPR’s Tuesday meeting, 106 voted to nominate Slutsky, who, notably, was the only proposed candidate on the ballot. His candidacy was initially put forward by the deputy head of the faction in the State Duma, Sergey Leonov, and party member Viktor Bout, a Russian businessman who was released last year from prison in the US amid a prisoner swap.

The LDPR is currently the second-largest political party in Russia in terms of membership and the third and fourth-largest in Russia’s upper and lower houses of parliament, respectively.

The party was founded in 1992 by the late firebrand politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who died last year. Slutsky has been at the helm of the faction since Zhirinovsky’s death. The movement focuses on patriotism and conservatism while opposing modern neoliberal capitalism and Soviet-style communism.

Other major political parties have also signaled that they will put forward candidates for the upcoming election, including the ‘A Just Russia – For Truth’ party and the ‘New People’ faction. The Communist Party of Russia (KPRF), which is the second-largest party in the Russian parliament, has said that it is currently deciding between its long-time leader, 79-year-old Gennady Zyuganov, and Sergey Levchenko, a former Irkutsk Region governor. 

Several public figures and politicians people have also announced their intent to seek a presidential term next year, including Ekaterina Duntsova, a journalist and former local MP from Rzhev; long-time opposition figure Boris Nadezhdin, a former MP and now a regional legislator backed by the center-right party Civic Initiative; as well as Sergey Lipatov, a lawyer and activist.

The presidential election is scheduled for a three-day period from March 15 to 17, with the winner to be inaugurated in May. It will mark the first time a presidential election in Russia has been held over multiple days, after the format was introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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