United Russia congress to nominate Putin as presidential candidate

Russia’s ruling United Russia party on Sunday will officially nominate its leader, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, as its presidential candidate in next year’s election.

The United Russia congress will take place at the Luzhniki sports arena and is expected to attract some 11,000 party members and about 1,000 journalists.

“Every Russian citizen knows the leader of our party, Vladimir Putin, and he is, without any exaggeration, the most respected politician in Russia,” Secretary of the Presidium of the General Council of United Russia, Sergei Neverov, said.

Neverov added that United Russia would be the first among Russian political parties taking part in the presidential run to officially announce its candidate.

“United Russia, as the largest political force in the country, stands for stability and transparency of its decisions, therefore, dragging with an official nomination of our candidate would be incorrect,” he said.

Other political parties, including the Communist party and the right-wing LDPR party, are expected to announce their candidates after the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The presidential election campaign officially started in Russia on Saturday, with the polls scheduled to take place on March 4, 2012.

In mid-October, Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev announced their plans to swap jobs after the presidential elections. Medvedev, who will lead United Russia in parliamentary polls on December 4, is expected to become Russia’s new prime minister after his presidential term expires.

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