Russian Duma speaker Zhirinovsky to run for president in 2012

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the controversial leader of Russia’s ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party and the State Duma’s deputy speaker, said on Tuesday he will run in the 2012 Russian presidential elections.

“We will definitely take part in the presidential elections because if a party does not take part in elections, it is weak,” Zhirinovsky said.

The elections are expected to be won by either current president Dmitry Medvedev, or his forerunner and the current prime minister, Vladimir Putin. The two men are expected to reach an agreement in the near future on which of them will run.

Zhrinovsky’s party expects him to come third in the run off after candidates from the ruling United Russia Party (Putin or Medvedev) and the Communist Party.

Putin stepped down in 2008 after serving two consecutive four-year terms, the maximum allowed by the constitution at the time. He nominated Medvedev as his successor, who in turn nominated Putin as his prime minister.

The next president will serve for six years due to constitutional changes made early in Medvedev’s presidency.

MOSCOW, April 26 (RIA Novosti)

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