moscow - The Communist Party in Russia has turned down unexpected leader Gennady Zyuganov as a candidate for the presidency. The Communists pushed the 57-year-old businessman Pavel Groedinin forward for the presidential elections in March next year.
During a party meeting Saturday, the 73-year-old Zyuganov congratulated Groedinin with his candidacy. The Communist Party has not given a clear reason for passing Zyuganov. Observers suspect that the choice fell on Groedinin to make the party more attractive for younger generations. In the last elections, the Communists were mainly supported by older voters.
Zjuganov has since a number of times made a throw to the presidency on behalf of the Communist Party. He achieved his best result in 1996, when he received more than 40 percent of the votes, but still had to deal with the then-sitting president Boris Yeltsin.