A man who claims to heal people by phone and whose book is on the federal list of extremist materials was the first to submit his own nomination to election officials to become the next Russian president, Kommersant business daily reported over the weekend.
Nikolai Levashov, author of “Russia in Distorting Mirrors”, which is banned for its negative depiction of Jews and for inciting religious hatred, has yet to collect 2 million votes if he is to be registered as a candidate, secretary of the Central Election Commission, Nikolai Konkin, told the newspaper late last week.
Levashov, who calls himself an academic and a healer, has posted scans of diplomas from obscure institutions and academies on his website, including: the Academy of Sciences of Integrated Security, the International Academy of Family Medicine, International Academy of Information and International Academy of Energy Sciences. He also claims on his website that he can cure many diseases by phone.
The presidential election campaign officially started in Russia last Saturday, with the polls scheduled to take place on March 4, 2012. The ruling United Russia party nominated Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as its presidential candidate in the presidential elections on Sunday. Incumbent President Dmitry Medvedev supports this bid.
Communists have also said recently that they would nominate the party’s leader Gennady Zyuganov as their presidential candidate.
Candidates nominated by registered political parties do not need to collect signatures to be registered.