03/27/2019, 13.27
RUSSIA
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A housewife defeats Putin's candidate in elections

by Vladimir Rozanskij

28-year-old Anna Shekina defeated Sergej Zatsepin of "united Russia". The leaders of Putin's party have also lost in the regions of Khabarovsk, Vladimir and Khakazia. The triumph of "casual and disinterested" candidates. The wrath of the people against the tsar's bureaucrats.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - On March 24, the 28-year-old housewife Anna Shekina (pictured) overturned the political order in Ust-Ilimsk’s early elections by defeating the candidate of Putin's "United Russia Party ", Sergej Zatsepin, by 44% against 37%.

The city is an industrial center of Asian Russia with 80,000 inhabitants, 700 kilometers north of Irkutsk, the regional capital of Lake Baikal. It was built in Soviet times, in 1966, around a large hydroelectric power station on the Angara River, at a time when people dreamed of converting the cold Siberia into the Garden of Eden. Today the population is fleeing towards warmer lands, and the troops of immigrants from China are advancing, so that some observers claim that "in 20 years there will be no more Russians in Asia".

Shekina’s election confirms the impression that Russia is ceding ground to the "populist" protest movement already widespread in Europe and America, to the point of electing an unknown young woman. Her candidacy was presented by the liberal-nationalist LDPR party, quicker than all to harness popular dissatisfaction with the migration issue, which exploded especially after the pension reform and, recently, for the threat of isolating Russia from the internet.

The representatives of Putin's party hastened to declare that they were ready to collaborate with "anyone who enjoys the trust of the people ", despite the recent defeats in various administrative shifts. Anna Shekina has never worked nor finished university, and represents the latest conquest of the "antisystemic" wave that is particularly visible in the outskirts of the Federation.

Last year an unemployed woman, Sardana Avksenteva, conquered the northern Siberian municipality of Yakutsk, and the so-called edinorossy (exponents of "United Russia") lost the regions of Khabarovsk, Vladimir and Khakazia.

According to the political scientist Abbas Gallamov, the surprise of Ust-Ilimsk shows that "the situation is really changing: first the edinorossy could only be threatened by strong opponents, able to organize real electoral campaigns, at least locally. Today anyone is able to win, even without any propaganda ". The level of protests has risen so high that people go to vote even without forced mobilizations, as was the case in the past.

Shekina has actually been a member of Zhirinovskij's LDPR party for years, and has participated in various electoral campaigns. This time she grabbed the right train, thanks mainly to the quarrels and scandals that have excluded several other candidates.

During the election campaign she did everything she could to avoid being noticed, answering on social networks with phrases like "I didn't want to, but the party had no one left to put in, don't vote for me", followed by a smile emoticon. The same technique had been used by the LDPR winners of Vladimir and Khabarovsk, "casual and disinterested" candidates to dodge the lightning of bureaucrats and the suspicions of the angry masses.

The winners have since been put in check by furious television and press campaigns, controlled by the regime. Shekina  has not attracted much attention on telegram-channels,  which favor presidential graces. They have limited themselves to describing the girl as belonging to deviant groups on social media, and in general not highly recommended from a moral point of view.

 The truth is that people are willing to vote even an incapable and an immoral candidate, in order to get rid of Putin's hateful bureaucrats, who have recently approved a law in the Duma that obliges them to "respect for the authorities" and punishes every shadow of offense.

Russian flavored populism therefore seems to finally come true in the Leninian prophecy of the "cook in power", or simply brings Russian society closer to the hardships of many other countries in the world, where institutions are now emptied of all superior content. Instead of celebrating his final consecration, Putin's last term seems to have begun with his decline.

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