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Russian Communist Party Leader Zyuganov Announces Presidential Bid

Gennady Zyuganov (Sergey Bobylev / TASS)

Gennady Zyuganov, the long-time leader of the Communist Party has announced he will run for president in elections in March next year. 

Zyuganov’s announcement on the state-funded Channel One came as Russia marked the centenary of the October Revolution. 

This will be Zyuganov’s fifth run for president since 1996. The last campaign was in 2012, when Zyuganov won 17.2 percent of the vote. The Communist Party has about 160,000 members, 40 percent of whom are under 35.

President Vladimir Putin is widely expected to run for his fourth presidential term and win, though he has not officially announced his candidacy. 

Zyuganov is likely to compete for second place with the veteran leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky. 

Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, continues to run a nationwide campaign, even though he is barred from running due to a criminal conviction which he claims is politically motivated. 

Also running are socialite and former reality-TV host Ksenia Sobchak, singer-songwriter and socialite Yekaterina Gordon, porn actress Yelena Berkova, Anfisa Chekhov, TV host and model, Yelena Semerikova, the head of the Women's Dialogue party, and Samson Sholademi, an African-Russian blogger and businessman.

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