Former chess champ and Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov won't be running for president this March, but not for lack of trying: Other Russia, his political party, was unable to book a Moscow conference hall due to government pressure on landlords, said his spokeswoman. Today is the last day Russian law permits parties to hold nominating meetings.
Kasparov stood no chance of defeating Dmitry Medvedev, President Vladimir Putin’s hand-picked successor, reports the AP. Opposition groups are routinely denied attempts to book meeting halls, and protest marches are often blocked or diverted to empty areas. Medvedev has already asked Putin to be his prime minister after the March election, allowing Putin to sidestep the presidential term limit.