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Sunday, 04 March 2012 - 13:24
Vladimir Putin seeks third term
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Polling stations in Russia's Far East have opened as the presidential election gets underway.

Today's vote sees Vladimir Putin hoping to become president again after four years as prime minister.

Putin was Russia's president from 2000-2008, but was barred by the constitution from standing for a third consecutive term.

He faces four challengers, three of whom he has defeated in previous elections.

The election is being held against a backdrop of popular discontent, sparked by allegations of fraud during December's parliamentary elections.

Putin's main challenger is considered to be Communist Gennady Zyuganov, who is running for a fourth time.

The other candidates are ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov, who is standing as an independent and former upper house speaker Sergey Mironov, from the centre-left A Just Russia party.

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