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Barsik the cat voted more popular than other mayoral candidates in Siberian city in protest of corruption

'Only mice don't vote for Barsik!'

Samuel Osborne
Wednesday 16 December 2015 16:22 GMT
Barsik the cat appears in his 'first interview'
Barsik the cat appears in his 'first interview' (Игорь Червяков / YouTube)

Residents of the Siberian city of Barnaul have nominated Barsik the cat for mayor in an unofficial poll, in protest of corruption among local officials.

Of the six human candidates and one cat, the ambitious feline won 91.2 per cent of the 5,400 votes cast.

Regional officials among Russia's opposition parties approved of the cat - one politician said his candidacy is an effective protest about how regional politics is run, according to online newspaper

The poll was started by the group Altai Online on Russian social media platform VKontakte. The group also uploaded a video of the first "interview" with Barsik the cat.

They have also launched a crowd-funding campaign to to buy a billboard in the city centre depicting the candidate with the slogan: "Only mice don't vote for Barsik!"

For the past five years, the people of Barnaul have not elected their own mayor. Instead, they were appointed from central government.

The city has witnessed a series of high-profile corruption cases, The Guardian reports.

A comission of the city council and regional governor Alexander Karlin will convene next week to appoint a new city administrator, after Igor Savintsek resigned in August following abuse of power allegations.

He is accused of selling off municipally owned land to organisations affiliated with family members.

Unfortunately for Barsik the cat, he is not registered as a mayoral candidate, so will not be allowed to take office.

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