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Kasparov quits Kremlin bid

Russian opposition leader and chess genius Garry Kasparov abandons his bid for the presidency.

world Updated: Dec 13, 2007 17:58 IST

Russian opposition leader and chess genius Garry Kasparov on Thursday abandoned his bid for the presidency, an aide said, blaming unfair pressure from the authorities.

"It is now technically impossible," spokesman Denis Bilunov told AFP. "A letter we received from the Central Election Commission removed any chance of Kasparov taking part in the presidential elections," he said.

Bilunov said the campaign was foiled by intense pressure from the authorities, who prevented Kasparov's supporters from fulfilling the legal steps required to get onto the ballot for the March 2 polls.

Thursday was the deadline for holding a meeting of at least 500 supporters to officially nominate Kasparov. A last minute cancellation of their chosen venue made this impossible, Bilunov said.

Bilunov said the owners told Kasparov's movement that authorities had threatened "big problems" for the landlords of potential meeting places if they agreed to host the opposition figure.