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Monday, May 31, 1999 Published at 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK

World: Europe

Setback for Zhirinovsky

The controversial Russian politician, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has failed in his bid to enter the upper house of parliament by becoming a regional governor.

With most of the results in from the gubernatorial race in the southern region of Belgorod, Mr Zhirinovsky was third with just seventeen percent of the vote. The incumbent governor, Yevgeny Savchenko, is expected to receive more than half of the votes, guaranteeing him a first-round victory. Correspondents say Mr Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democrats have been losing support recently, and that the hard-line Nationalist leader was hoping for a new platform in the upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council, where governors have an automatic seat.

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