MOSCOW (NEWSnet/AP) — Supporters of Russia President Vladimir Putin on Saturday formally nominated him to run in the 2024 presidential election as an independent candidate, state news agencies reported.

The group that nominated Putin includes top officials from the ruling United Russia party, prominent Russian actors and singers, athletes and other public figures.

“Whoever is ready to support the candidacy of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for the post of president of Russia, please vote. Who’s in favor?” Mikhail Kuznetsov, head of the executive committee of the People’s Front, asked those gathered. The People’s Front is a political coalition, founded in 2011 by Putin.

After the vote, Kuznetsov announced the group had voted unanimously to nominate Putin.

According to Russia election laws, candidates put forward by a party that isn't represented in State Duma or in at least a third of regional legislatures have to submit at least 100,000 signatures from 40 or more regions. Those running independently of any party would need a minimum of 300,000 signatures.

Those requirements apply to Putin as well, who has used various tactics over the years. He ran as an independent in 2018 and his campaign gathered signatures. In 2012, he ran as a nominee of United Russia Party, so there was no requirement to gather signatures.

Under constitutional reforms he orchestrated, Putin is eligible to seek two additional six-year terms after his current term expires.

Lawmakers in Russia set the country’s 2024 presidential election for March 17.

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