Russian party to oppose ruling party candidate in 2012

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Russia's minority party Just Russia said on Saturday that it will not support the ruling party's presidential candidate in the presidential polls next year.

Party leader Sergei Mironov said Just Russia may have their own candidate and will not back the candidate supported by United Russia, the country's dominant party led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

"Our party's official position is not to support the candidate from United Russia. We strongly oppose United Russia and therefore will not be able to support their candidate," said Mironov.

Mironov, who is also the speaker of the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament, added that he was resigning as his party's speaker in order to focus on the parliamentary elections in December.

Social democratic Just Russia is widely considered by observers to be a Kremlin creation that competes for votes that would normally go to the oppositional Communist party.

It has endorsed President Dmitry Medvedev during the 2008 presidential polls, and currently has 38 seats in the 450-person Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament. Four parties are represented in the Duma.

© 2011 AFP

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