LENIN STATE FARM, Russia — The Communist Party’s candidate for president would seem to be an odd choice: He’s a millionaire and proud of it. He also openly rejects the basic tenets of Communism.
Pavel Grudinin is the Russian party’s first new nominee in 14 years as it hopes to rejuvenate itself and broaden its appeal from its traditional base of aging voters who are nostalgic for the old Soviet Union.
Not that Grudinin — or any other candidate — has much of a chance of unseating incumbent President Vladimir Putin when Russia votes on March 18.
The presence of Grudinin and other official candidates are largely viewed as a Kremlin ploy to boost voter participation in an election that has a foregone conclusion of a Putin victory.