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Coordination Council Backs Gudkov for Governorship

The opposition's Coordination Council is ready to nominate ousted State Duma Deputy Gennady Gudkov as a candidate for next year's gubernatorial elections in the Moscow region, a news report said Monday.

Prominent opposition activist Boris Nemtsov proposed Gudkov's candidacy after conducting a poll on Facebook in which Gudkov won the most support as a potential governor, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported.

Dominated by pro-Kremlin factions, the State Duma stripped Gudkov of his lawmaker status in September after he persisted in supporting protesters who challenged the government over State Duma and presidential elections tainted by allegations of fraud. The Duma said he violated a ban on lawmakers engaging in business activity while in office.

The Communists could back Gudkov's candidacy if he musters a "strong team of economic managers," the newspaper reported.

Environmental activist Yevgenia Chirikova, known for her campaign for the preservation of the Khimki Forest, could also throw her weight behind Gudkov, the report said.

Nemtsov wrote on his Facebook page that one of the reasons that makes Gudkov a plausible candidate is that he has a security-service background, which makes him an acceptable choice for officials. In addition, he is a native of the Moscow region, hailing from Kolomna.

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