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Russia: Early Voting Begins In Presidential Election

Moscow, 15 March 2000 (RFE/RL) - Early voting began today in Russia's presidential election. Those able to cast ballots include sailors, military personnel, and people living and working in remote regions, mostly in the north and Far East. Electoral commission officials say some 250,000 Russians are eligible to vote early. Most of Russia's 108 million voters will cast their ballots on the official election day, March 26.

Twelve candidates are competing to succeed President Boris Yeltsin, who stepped down on December 31. They include acting President Vladimir Putin, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, Yabloko movement leader Grigory Yavlinsky and ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky.