MOSCOW, (Xinhua) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday submitted to the Central Election Committee (CEC) documents needed to officially start his 2018 presidential campaign.
Russian TV channels showed Putin arriving at the CEC headquarters and personally handing over the documents to an official.
The documents, as showed in the footage, include an application for registration of an initiative group of supporters, a statement of consent to running for president, confirmations of biographical data, as well as income and property ownership data.
On Dec. 6, Putin announced that he would seek a new term in the presidential election next year during a meeting with employees of a car-making plant in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod.
He chose to run as an independent candidate and therefore, after the necessary examination of the authenticity of submitted documents, will be allowed to start collecting no less than 300,000 signatures from his supporters to be registered as a candidate in the race.
This has to be done no later than 45 days before the elections set for March 18, 2018.
If a candidate wishes to run within the framework of a political party, the party will have to collect no less than 100,000 signatures on the candidate’s behalf.
Parties represented in the parliament, the ruling United Russia, the Communist Party of Russia, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and the Just Russia, can register their candidates without collecting signatures in their support.
The United Russia and Just Russia have decided to support Putin and will not propose an alternative candidate.
The Communist Party of Russia decided Saturday to propose as its candidate, 57-year-old Pavel Grudinin, director of the Lenin Sovkhoz farm located in the Moscow region, who is not a member of the party.
Last week, the CEC registered the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, as the first candidate.
On Monday, the CEC denied opposition leader Alexei Navalny the right to participate in the upcoming presidential elections, citing his previous conviction.