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Lebed to seek Siberia governorship

Alexander Lebed, who has often expressed his desire to replace President Boris Yeltsin, said Friday that he decided to run for governor of a Siberian province because he had "lost the feeling that I am needed" in the Kremlin.

"But," Lebed added, "I am absolutely sure this feeling will come back again."Lebed, whose national popularity has waned in the past year, recently submitted nominating papers to election officials in the central Siberian province of Krasnoyarsk. He is expected to formally declare his candidacy next week.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the retired general acknowledged that he saw the post as a potential springboard to the presidency.

Lebed has never lived in Krasnoyarsk, and may face a challenge to his candidacy based on federal campaign laws. His younger brother, Alexei, is governor of a neighboring province, Khakasia.

"We need to do in Krasnoyarsk what is needed to be done throughout Russia," Lebed said. "Land must be returned to its owners in a civilized manner. Taxes should be reduced and industry revived. . . . And finally, we must create the conditions for investment."