Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Zhirinovsky's New Bloc Wins CEC Approval for Duma Run




Russia's most flamboyant lawmaker, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, had to scramble, but on Monday he finally made it on the ballot.


Just days after his Liberal Democratic Party of Russia was barred from running in December parliamentary elections, the Central Election Commission accepted his new bloc, made up of two smaller movements, including one run by his sister.


The new Zhirinovsky Bloc, with 84 candidates on its party list, is made up of the Russian Union of Free Youth, closely connected to Zhirinovsky, and the Party of Russian Spiritual Revival, led by his sister.


The merger was drawn up after the CEC banned LDPR from running because two of its top three candidates violated election rules. Under Russian law, if even one of the top three candidates is removed from the candidate list, the party cannot run.


Facing an Oct. 24 registration deadline, Zhirinovsky quickly convened a congress of the two political movements and had them form the new bloc.


Zhirinovsky, who has doused fellow parliament members with water, punched another lawmaker and called for Alaska's return to Russia, is known for his outrageous statements and wild behavior.


His party is currently the third-largest faction in the State Duma, parliament's lower house, with 50 of the 450 seats.


But Zhirinovsky's party has consistently backed President Boris Yeltsin on key votes in the Duma, alienating some supporters, and the party has not fared well in recent opinion polls.


LDPR on Monday called for a state of emergency to combat "the open aggression by the forces of international terrorism against Russia, who have invaded and unleashed bloody hostilities on the territory of Dagestan," Interfax reported. Zhirinovsky, the LDPR leader, and faction member Vladimir Lisichkin proposed a motion in the Duma calling for a six-month state of emergency to be imposed throughout Russia. There was no indication the proposal had wide support.