Russian ex-premier says expects to be candidate

BRUSSELS – Former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said on Thursday he still expected to be a candidate for a March presidential election despite the Central Election Commission saying it had grounds to disqualify him.

Asked about comments by the Commission’s secretary that he did not have the required two million valid signatures because of alleged forgeries, Kasyanov told Reuters: “We insist this is simple propaganda that the signatures are not real.”

The liberal Kremlin critic, in Brussels for a conference with liberal European Parliament members, said: “This is no reason not to register, and I expect on Saturday a decision for registration.”

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