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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Poll Shows Yeltsin Moving Up

A poll released Tuesday showed that President Boris Yeltsin is gaining steadily on the frontrunner in the presidential race, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov.

The survey, carried out by the All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion, or VTsIOM, from March 22 to 27, found that 25 percent of the 1,600 Russians polled would vote for Zyuganov, up from 24 percent in February, while 18 percent would vote for Yeltsin, up from 11 percent last month.

Former general Alexander Lebed came in third, with 10 percent, while Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky tied for fourth place, each with 9 percent.

The campaign is gathering steam, with the Central Election Commission poised to register Yeltsin on Wednesday. An initiative group supporting Yeltsin's candidacy turned in 1.3 million signatures to the CEC last week, considerably more than the 1 million required, as well as an income declaration and a statement of consent to run.

"On Wednesday the documents will be examined during a session of the CEC," said CEC spokesman Parmen Shenshin. "And if everything is O.K., Yeltsin will be confirmed as a candidate for the presidency."

The major candidates have been hot on the campaign trail over the past few days, getting their views out to the voters.

Zyuganov told Interfax Sunday that "social-democracy of the West European style has no chance of success in Russia."

The countries in the western part of the continent, he said, were able to create a social democratic system "only after the aftermath of two world wars, fascism and discord were overcome." He added that Western Europe had "received an opportunity to use reserves of almost the entire planet."

In an interview aired Monday night on the BBC's World Service, Yavlinsky sharply criticized the Chechen peace plan announced by the Russian president Sunday, and refused to say whom he would support if Yeltsin and Zyuganov faced off in a second round.

On Monday, Lebed said if he were to win June's presidential contest, he might choose Yavlinsky as prime minister.

Meanwhile, businessman and State Duma deputy Vladimir Bryntsalov held a press conference Tuesday to protest the CEC's decision last Friday to reject his candidacy.

"I assumed the chance to run [for the presidency] existed in this country," said Bryntsalov, who was flanked by his wife, three campaign officials and three large bodyguards.

A CEC spokesman said Tuesday that Bryntsalov had not been registered because "around 30 percent of the signatures were falsified."

Bryntsalov said that he plans to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court, and predicted he will win.