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Russia: Presidential Campaign Opens

Moscow, 3 March 2000 (RFE/RL) - The Russian presidential campaign formally opens today, with 11 candidates vying for the office of head of state. The campaign will include televised debates between the candidates. Under the election law each candidate is provided with 80 minutes of free nationwide television and radio air time, half of which must be used for debates. Candidates may also buy air time on both private and state-run networks. Central Election Commission member Sergei Bolshakov and Deputy Press Minister Andrei Romichenko today said in separate statements that their offices will monitor the fairness of presentations.