In the Siberian city of Barnaul, people are yearning for a change and they want a cat as their next mayor.
Tired of corrupt politicians, an 18-month-old Siamese cat named Barsik has gained popularity amongst residents and is running ahead of his human rivals for the post of mayor.
According to an unofficial poll on the local social media page, Barsik got nearly 91 per cent of the vote.
A local pensioner Yevgeny Kuznetsov said, “People don’t know who to trust any more. They have come to the conclusion that they can’t trust the authorities.”
A crowdsourcing campaign was also launched by the page to raise money for a billboard in the center of the city with the feline picture that says “Only mice don’t vote for Barsik!“.
Despite Barsik’s popularity, he won’t be elected.
The picturesque city has seen high-profile cases of corruption and nepotism.
The incumbent city administrator Igor Savintsev resigned in August following allegations of abuse of his power.
He was accused of selling municipally owned land to organisations affiliated with family members which cost the city more than 11 million rubles ($157,000, 144,000 euros). His son Maxim is meanwhile awaiting trial on fraud and embezzlement charges.
Local Communist Party official Ivan Karpov said that through cat popularity, people are sending a powerful message.
“The conclusion has been made that there’s absolutely no trust among voters for any of the candidates,” he said.
But, this isn’t the first time that a cat or an animal has contested for such a post.
A cat named Stubbs has been the mayor of Talkeetna (Alaska) since July 1997.
The feline has also been described as a tourist attraction and draws 30 to 40 tourists each day.
The dog Bosco Ramos was elected the mayor of the community Sunol (California).
He defeated two human rivals and won the mayor election in 1981 and served until his death in 1994.