Tags: EU | Russia | Election

Russian Opposition Divided over TV Host's Presidential Bid

Russian Opposition Divided over TV Host's Presidential Bid

Thursday, 19 October 2017 07:38 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — A presidential bid by a celebrity Russian TV host drew conflicting reaction from the country's beleaguered opposition Thursday, with some accusing her of playing into the Kremlin's hands and others welcoming her move.

Though President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, denied that the Kremlin has encouraged Sobchak to run, some opposition figures say her move would help galvanize the political scene and counter voter apathy without challenging the government.

The 35-year old Ksenia Sobchak announced her intention to run in the March 2018 election late Wednesday, saying the country has grown tired of stagnation and needs change.

She is the daughter of Anatoly Sobchak, the reformist St. Petersburg mayor in the early 1990s. President Vladimir Putin once worked as her father's deputy.

Sobchak, who joined anti-Kremlin protests in 2011-2012, said she had warned Putin of her intention during a recent meeting, adding that Putin didn't seem to like it.

Putin hasn't yet said whether he would seek re-election, but he's widely expected to.

Some see Sobchak's bid as part of Kremlin efforts to enliven the race, which is set to involve a set of lackluster veterans of past campaigns.

One of them, liberal leader Grigory Yavlinsky, said Sobchak would play a role similar to billionaire tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov, who challenged Putin in the 2012 election, casting himself as a representative of Russian liberal circles.

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A presidential bid by a celebrity Russian TV host drew conflicting reaction from the country's beleaguered opposition Thursday, with some accusing her of playing into the Kremlin's hands and others welcoming her move.Though President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry...
EU,Russia,Election
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2017-38-19
Thursday, 19 October 2017 07:38 AM
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