Kasyanov Petition Called Into Doubt

Former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov could be barred from running in the March 2 presidential election because of problems with a petition he submitted in support of his bid, election officials said Monday.

Kasyanov, who is mounting a long-shot campaign in the election, has predicted that the Kremlin could throw up bureaucratic obstacles as a ploy to keep him out of the race.

Kasyanov has submitted 2 million signatures from voters supporting his bid. Election officials said there were questions about the authenticity of some of the signatures.

A final decision on whether Kasyanov can run is expected Sunday. Election rules state a candidate can be disqualified if more than 5 percent of signatures are rejected.