Russian election authorities officially registered Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Monday as a candidate for president in next year's election, they announced on their website.
Putin will represent his United Russia party, the Central Election Commission said.
The move is the latest step toward Putin's reclaiming the presidency after switching to the prime minister's office because of a law barring him from serving more than two consecutive terms as president.
Russia's third-richest man, the billionaire New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, announced this month that he will run against Putin for president.
Many ordinary Russians suspect the Kremlin put Prokhorov up to it to give the impression the contest is fair.FULL STORY