Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov is the opposition candidate for the Russian presidency.
Kasparov, whose father was Jewish, was the overwhelming choice of the leading opposition coalition, The Other Russia, as its candidate at a conference Sunday in Moscow, according to an Associated Press report.
The Other Russia is a loose coalition of disparate groups whose only unifying factor is their strong opposition to the policies of President Vladimir Putin. The groups accuse Putin of using authoritarian tactics to erode the rule of law in the post-Soviet era.
The coalition has little hope of gaining ground against the hugely popular Putin in next year’s elections, a fact Kasparov acknowledged following the vote.
“The goal of The Other Russia is not winning elections but to have an election,” Kasparov told reporters. “We’re trying to force the regime to accept our rights to participate in free and fair elections, to agitate the Russian population and Russian public to support our ideas.”