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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kasyanov's Party to Boycott Duma Vote

Former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said his party would not participate in State Duma elections but that he would run for president next year.

"The elections for the Duma are just an imitation of the democratic process, and I have decided to boycott them," Kasyanov said Saturday at a founding congress for his People for Democracy and Justice party in the Moscow region town of Povedniki.

Kasyanov said his party had 30,000 members, 20,000 short of the number needed to register with the authorities.

About 200 pro-Kremlin Nashi youths picketed the venue.

Separately, Kasyanov has returned to the state a luxury villa that a court ruled had been obtained illegally, his spokeswoman said Friday. An investigation into the purchase of the villa began in 2005 after Kasyanov voiced criticism of the Kremlin and said he was considering running for president in 2008.