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Yakutsk's Ex-Mayor To Run in Russia's Duma Elections for New People Party

Sardana Avksentiyeva. Yakutsk Administration Press Service

The ex-mayor of Yakutsk, Sardana Avksentiyeva will run in Russia’s State Duma elections this fall for the recently formed New People party, she said in an Instagram post Monday.  

“I'm going to the State Duma elections with New People,” said Avksentiyeva, who was the first female mayor of the Siberian town, adding that the chairman of the party Alexei Nechaev had asked her to cooperate on development of the regions.

Avksentiyeva did not clarify in which capacity she will run in the elections to the lower house of parliament but promised to make an announcement after the pre-election party congress meeting. 

The former mayor also added that she does not think of herself as a supporter of “radical opposition.”

Earlier this year, Avksentiyeva resigned from her post for health reasons. At the time, the 14News Telegram channel cited unnamed sources in the regional administration saying her sudden departure was linked to pressure from the authorities.

New People was founded by Nechaev, owner of one of Russia’s leading cosmetics manufacturers, to appeal to small business owners and entrepreneurs in the regions. 

Avksentiyeva’s announcement comes on the heels of the jailing of the Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, whose supporters are banned from running in the upcoming elections. 

Navalny and his closest allies have criticized New People for borrowing their anti-corruption rhetoric while being a tool of the Kremlin to create the appearance of opposition and a multiparty electoral system in the State Duma elections.

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