Moscow, November 27: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been formally nominated by the ruling United Russia party to run for President in next March's election.
Mr. Putin, who stepped down in 2008 after two Presidential terms but has remained Russia's No. 1 leader, announced his intention to reclaim the top job in September.
Sunday's nomination marks the official start of his election bid.
Mr. Putin has named his handpicked successor, President Dmitry Medvedev, to lead the United Russia's list in the December 4 Parliamentary elections and promised to make him Prime Minister after the Presidential vote.
The planned swap has angered many in Russia, who warned it would strengthen authoritarian trends and set the stage for Mr. Putin to serve as President for another 12 years becoming the nation's longest-serving leader since the Communist times.