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Vladimir Putin’s candidate was beaten by a cleaner in local elections after an attempt to manipulate the poll failed

Vladimir Putin’s candidate was beaten by a cleaner in a Russian local election after an attempt to manipulate the poll failed

  • The head of the rural district of Povalikha Nikolai Loktev chose cleaner to stand up to him
  • The 58-year-old created the intention ‘to give the wrong impression of a real match’
  • But Marina Udgodskaya, who didn’t campaign, won with 62 percent of the vote

The incumbent head of the Povalikha rural district, Nikolai Loktev, chose his cleaner to oppose him 'to give the wrong impression of a real match'

The incumbent head of the Povalikha rural district, Nikolai Loktev, chose his cleaner to oppose him ‘to give the wrong impression of a real match’

A cleaner has defeated Vladimir Putin’s candidate in local elections in Russia after an attempt to manipulate the poll failed.

The incumbent head of the rural district of Povalikha, Nikolai Loktev, chose his cleaner to oppose him ‘to give the wrong impression of a real match’.

Marina Udgodskaya didn’t campaign, but she still won easily with 62 percent of the vote when locals threw out ex-police officer Loktev, 58, a loyalist in the pro-Putin ruling party United Russia.

The 35-year-old now feels shocked and ill-prepared to haul her new broom through politics in this remote outpost.

‘I did not nominate myself. Nikolai Loktev asked me. There was simply no other person and I was like a fake candidate, ”she confessed to Podyom media.

She was there as a “technical” or straw man candidate, a loser, she said, to give the appearance of a real race, a tactic not uncommon in Russia.

“I wanted to help him (give the impression of a controversial poll),” she explained.

So there were only him and I on the ballot.

“I didn’t think they would vote for me, I didn’t expect such a turn at all.”

After five years of cleaning politician Loktev’s office, she will take over his office on October 1 and be in charge of 250 square miles of the Kostroma region.

Marina Udgodskaya didn't campaign, but she easily won with 62 percent of the vote

Marina Udgodskaya didn't campaign, but she easily won with 62 percent of the vote

The 35-year-old now feels both shocked and ill-prepared to sweep her new broom through politics in remote outpost

The 35-year-old now feels both shocked and ill-prepared to sweep her new broom through politics in remote outpost

Marina Udgodskaya (left and right) did not campaign, but still won easily with 62 percent of the vote. The 35-year-old now feels both shocked and ill-prepared to sweep her new broom through politics in remote outpost

“I have to take office, and then the powers will somehow be transferred to me,” she said.

Despite her reluctance, she has become an unexpected hero to anti-Putin politicians in Russia.

Opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov said voters were now ready to support anyone except ruling candidates who obeyed the Kremlin.

“People are willing to vote for someone else,” he claimed.

Udgodskaya will take over the position on October 1 and be in charge of 155 square miles of the Kostroma region (photo)

Udgodskaya will take over the position on October 1 and be in charge of 155 square miles of the Kostroma region (photo)

Udgodskaya will take over the position on October 1 and be in charge of 155 square miles of the Kostroma region (photo)

‘It doesn’t matter who you are by profession or what experience you have.

‘For one thing, you don’t have to steal and be able to talk to people.

“You will be much more highly regarded than any person in United Russia.”

He said to her, “I suppose if you tried the presidential election you would win there too.

‘Because twenty years of dictatorship brought one common wish: change. Any change.

And you, Marina, certainly wouldn’t use Novichok. And this is the big advantage. ‘

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