Russian Communists nominate longtime leader as presidential candidate

Russia's Communists on Saturday nominated longtime leader and past candidate Gennady Zyuganov to run in the March presidential election - a vote that is widely expected to be won by President Vladimir Putin's personal choice. Zyuganov joins several other Russian political leaders in the field of candidates who will going up against Dmitry Medvedev, the first deputy prime minister whom Putin publicly endorsed on Monday. Delegates to the party's congress in Moscow voted 215-3 for Zyuganov, who sat out the last presidential election in 2004 but mounted a strong challenge in 1996 to the incumbent Boris Yeltsin. Zyuganov told delegates he would run a populist campaign, calling for nationalization of natural resources and other assets that were privatized during the Yeltsin era, and he called for reinstating the death penalty.