Gorbachev Qualifies For June Presidential Ballot
MOSCOW (AP) _ Mikhail Gorbachev qualified Saturday to be listed on the ballot for Russia’s June presidential election.
The last Soviet president is the fourth candidate to be registered by the Central Electoral Commission, which certified that he had collected the required 1 million voter signatures, Russian news agencies said.
Gorbachev, 65, has little chance of winning the June 16 election. He is widely unpopular among Russians, blamed by hard-liners for allowing the Soviet Union to collapse and criticized by others for waffling on and partially abandoning his reforms.
His standing in nationwide polls is rated at about 1 percent, although recent Moscow-only surveys put his support in the capital at 6 percent.
Gorbachev joins Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, President Boris Yeltsin and ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky on the ballot. Other prominent names are expected to join them, including reformer Grigory Yavlinsky, retired Gen. Alexander Lebed and eye surgeon Svyatoslav Fyodorov.
A little-known candidate, wealthy businessman and lawmaker Vladimir Bryntsalov, had his candidacy rejected by the commission, which said many of the signatures he submitted were fakes. He appealed the decision to the Russian Supreme Court, which has ordered the commission to reverse its decision.
The deadline for submitting signatures to the electoral commission is Tuesday.