Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Putin’s Former Classmate to Run Russian Elections


A former classmate and workmate of Russian President Vladimir Putin will run next year’s crucial presidential election, the Reuters news agency reports.
Putin’s opponents say the Kremlin will try to use its power to influence the result of the election and they allege it is stacking the Central Election Commission with its loyalists.
Putin says the election will be free and fair.
Vladimir Churov was elected Tuesday as commission chairman in a vote by members of the body. Thirteen members voted for him with two against.
Churov, 54, worked alongside Putin in the 1990s in the external relations department of the St Petersburg city administration.

A former colleague of the two men told Reuters they were also classmates at school in the city.

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