Consumer advocate Ralph Nader says he is entering the U.S. presidential race.

Mr. Nader, who ran for president on the Green Party ticket in 2000, made the announcement Sunday on the NBC television news program Meet the Press.

Mr. Nader said he is running because, "there's too much power and wealth in too few hands." He said he would run as an independent candidate.

Democratic Party leaders immediately denounced Mr. Nader's decision. New Mexico state governor Bill Richardson said on Fox News that it was the result of personal vanity, and that neither the Green Party nor Mr. Nader's own friends want him to run again.

Mr. Nader won less than three percent of the national vote in the 2000 election. But Democrats accuse him of taking enough support from their candidate, Al Gore, to hand the contest to President Bush, especially in the crucial state of Florida.

Mr. Nader has insisted that Mr. Gore had only himself to blame for the loss.

Meanwhile, candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination are campaigning in states that will hold primary elections on "Super Tuesday," March 2.

The front-runner, Senator John Kerry, is in Georgia Sunday, while his chief rival, Senator John Edwards, will campaign in Ohio and New York.

The two senators are scheduled to appear today on the ABC television news program This Week.

The candidates have also agreed to take part in two debates - one in Los Angeles on Thursday, the other in New York next Sunday.