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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Candidates Still Owe State Funds

More than 100 days after the March 26 presidential elections, six of the nine losing candidates who are obliged to pay back federal campaign funds are dragging their feet, a spokeswoman for the Central Election Commission said Monday.

Under the election law, all 12 officially registered candidates for president were entitled to receive 400,000 rubles for campaign needs. However, those who received less than 3 percent of the vote must refund all the money within a year. The Central Election Commission can then sue any bad debtors to recover the funds.

CEC commissioner Alexander Veshnyakov has also warned that those failing to return the money will be barred from running for president in future elections.

Of the 12 candidates only three f Vladimir Putin, with 52.94 percent of all the vote, Communist candidate Gennady Zyuganov with 29.21 percent and Yabloko party leader Grigory Yavlinsky with 5.8 percent f cleared the 3 percent barrier.

Putin, who declined to draw on the federal funds, returned his 400,000 rubles to the budget promptly after the election.

Of the nine candidates who polled less than 3 percent, only three f Spiritual Heritage nationalist movement leader Alexei Podberyozkin, Kemerovo region Governor Aman Tuleyev and Moscow businessman Umar Dzhabrailov f refunded the full amount shortly after the vote.

Samara region Governor Konstantin Titov has returned 352,194 rubles of the 400,000, a CEC spokeswoman said Monday. Ella Pamfilova has returned 250,000 rubles, she added.

Liberal candidate and former Moscow security chief Yevgeny Savostyanov, who pulled out of the race in favor of Yavlinsky, and former Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov must still pay almost 395,000 each.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the flamboyant chief of the Liberal Democratic Party and deputy speaker in the State Duma, still owes 300,000 rubles.

The biggest debtor is Duma deputy and filmmaker Stanislav Govorukhin, who owes the full 400,000 rubles.