Zyuganov Says Vote Won't Be Fair

Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov said Monday that the presidential election next month could not be fair because the country was run by "thieves."

Zyuganov has said the campaign is skewed in favor of Dmitry Medvedev, who has been the overwhelming favorite to win since President Vladimir Putin endorsed him as his successor.

"Elections in Russia can't be fair," Zyuganov told reporters as he unveiled his election program. "Because privatization itself was unfair, because everything has been stolen and because thieves can't call fair elections." Zyuganov was referring to the 1990s sell-off of state assets.

"There is an iron-clad rule in any country and in any kind of society: A thief should be in jail and not in charge," Zyuganov said.

He said last month that he was considering pulling out of the race on the grounds that it was unfair.

On Monday, he said he was staying in the race because "I don't want to give the country away to a group of nouveaux riches."