Kasparov Enters Russian Presidential Race (AP)
Well, it is sort of a chess game... Garry Kasparov has been eleced by his party, The Other Russia, to stand for president in the next election. The Other Russia will not, however, be able to field candidates for the Duma, Russia's representative body (similar to Britain's Parliament or the USA's Senate).
Kasparov has been a driving force behind the coalition, which has united liberals, leftists and nationalists in opposition to President Vladimir Putin. He received 379 of 498 votes at a national congress held in Moscow by the Other Russia coalition, coalition spokeswoman Lyudmila Mamina told The Associated Press.
Kasparov's place on the March ballot was not assured. His candidacy still needs to be registered and is likely to be blocked.
Even if he were allowed to run, Kasparov would not be expected to pose a major challenge to whichever candidate wins Putin's backing.
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Kasparov was followed in Sunday's voting by Sergei Gulyayev, a former member of St. Petersburg's Legislative Assembly, who received 59 votes, and former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov with 18, Mamina said. The coalition was choosing among six candidates who had won regional primaries in recent months.
The Other Russia also chose Kasparov to be one of three candidates to head the coalition's list in parliamentary elections in December. The others are former Central Bank chairman Viktor Gerashchenko and Eduard Limonov, a provocative writer who heads the banned National Bolshevik Party.
The coalition, however, has virtually no chance of participating in the election for the State Duma, the lower house of parliament. Only registered political parties can take part and none of the political movements that make up the Other Russia qualify.