Maverick Communist Boris N. Yeltsin is running for president of the Soviet Union's largest republic, a Soviet news service reported Thursday.
Yeltsin, who won more than 5 million votes in Moscow elections with his anti-elite stance and calls for more radical reform, has accepted a nomination to be president of the Russian Federation, the Interfax news agency said.Voters in Ramenki, a town near Moscow, nominated him, said Interfax, which is affiliated with state-run Radio Moscow.
Yeltsin was dumped from his job as Moscow Party chief in late 1987 for his outspoken criticism of the slow pace of President Mikhail S. Gorbachev's reforms. He was later given a state post in construction with the rank of minister.
The 58-year-old former engineer parlayed his image as a fighter for justice and victim of the party apparatus into a sweeping victory in March elections for the Soviet Congress, when he won 89 percent of the Moscow vote.
At the Congress, Yeltsin has emerged as a leader of the fledgling opposition to Communist Party leaders and has continued to push for speedier reform.
Elections are scheduled for March in the Russian Federation, the biggest of the Soviet Union's 15 constituent republics with some 150 million people and land stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean.