The Kremlin has allocated more than $243 million to pay for the upcoming elections to the newly established Congress of People's Deputies, the official Tass news agency said Thursday.

The elections, the first in which seats may be contested by multiple candidates, are scheduled for March 26. Candidates will vie for positions in the 2,250-member chamber established in November when the existing Supreme Soviet parliament formally voted itself out of existence.Among the candidates is Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who was selected this week by the Moscow City Communist Party to run for a seat in the Congress.