Russian election commission registers Putin as presidential candidate

Russia's election commission has registered incumbent President Vladimir Putin as a candidate in the March presidential election.

The formal registration of Putin by the Central Election Commission on Monday came after his campaign filed more than 300,000 voter signatures.

Putin's campaign launched a signature collection drive after Putin expressed his intention to seek another term in office in December.

His team said it actually collected more than 10 times the number of signatures required for any independent candidate to appear on the ballot.

The other three candidates so far registered by the commission include Nikolay Kharitonov of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and Leonid Slutsky of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. Putin, however, is seen as all but certain to win a fifth term.

Attention is also on Boris Nadezhdin, a former member of the State Duma who has criticized Putin over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Nadezhdin's team is collecting signatures in a bid to get him on the ballot.