Pro-Kremlin Mironov ‘ready to run’ for president

Sergei Mironov, leader of A Just Russia, a center-left quasi-opposition party, said on Tuesday he would run for the presidency if he had party backing.

“If I get party support, I’m ready to run,” he said.

Party chairman Nikolai Levichev said the party convention due on December 10 would most likely nominate Mironov as a presidential candidate.

Mironov, who in May lost his job as speaker of the upper house of parliament, has emphasized that the main points of the party’s election program include measures to tackle poverty and corruption in Russia as well as the ongoing struggle against the monopoly of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin‘s United Russia party.

Mironov, who was elected by the St. Petersburg legislative assembly, controlled by United Russia, came under attack over his criticism of St. Petersburg’s then-Governor Valentina Matviyenko, who subsequently replaced him as upper house speaker.

In mid-April, Mironov formally quit as chairman of A Just Russia, but suggested he would remain its unofficial leader and lead its list in December’s Duma elections.

Some analysts see the Mironov case as a move by the Kremlin to cast him as an opposition figure who might subsequently head a “controlled opposition” to lend greater legitimacy to next year’s presidential elections.

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