MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti)
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Russia’s communist leader Gennady Zyuganov has promised to re-run this month’s disputed parliamentary elections if elected president.
“If KPRF [Communist party] wins the presidential poll, the party guarantees it will hold early new elections to the State Duma in December 2012,” Zyuganov told supporters on Saturday as he was formally nominated to run for president in next March's election.
The leader of the far-right Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov are also standing, as is Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Other candidacies include Dmitry Mezentsev, governor of east Siberia’s Irkutsk region, and radical opposition figure Eduard Limonov.
Zyuganov described the December 4 election as the “dirtiest” since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The election saw Putin’s ruling United Russia party just maintain its parliamentary majority amid widespread allegations of fraud and coercion of voters.
Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the vote was “slanted in favor of the ruling party.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the election was neither free nor fair, and the European Parliament called for a re-run.
During a visit to Brussels on Thursday, President Dmitry Medvedev maintained the election was fair and said the European Parliament had “nothing to do” with it.
Speaking during a party congress in Moscow, Zyuganov also invited Putin to a televised election debate.
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The British experience can be instructive for Russia. London retains its British Commonwealth if it wants to use this as a foundation for integration in the future. That’s a valuable lesson for Russian experts who are calling for an end to “ineffective” associations like the CIS, the Russian World and others.