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Crimean prosecutor Poklonskaya may run for Russian parliament

20 July 2015 17:27
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Crimean prosecutor Poklonskaya may run for Russian parliament

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - Russian media citing sources said to be close to the leadership of the country's ruling United Russia Party are reporting that Crimean Prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya may put forth her candidacy for the upcoming Russian parliamentary elections in 2016.

Citing sources close to the party, Russian newspaper Izvestia reports that Poklonskaya is being considered as a candidate for the upcoming September 2016 parliamentary race.

"The party depends on strong candidates, on authoritative personalities," an unnamed source from United Russia told Izvestia. "Work on the upcoming elections to the Duma is already underway. Naturally, we are considering candidates who would benefit both the party and Russia as a whole, such as, for example, Natalia Poklonskaya. Discussions on the formation of a list in Crimea are taking place," the source noted.

Recently reverting to the electoral system used between 1993 to 2003, half of the 450 seats in the Russian Duma will be elected from party lists, with a 5 percent electoral threshold, with the other half voted in through single-member constituencies using the first-past-the-post system.

Poklonskaya has yet to comment on the rumors of her possible candidacy, either for Russian media or on her social media pages. But numerous media sources and analysts have suggested that Poklonskaya's increased media appearances recently may be a sign of her intention to run for a seat in parliament in 2016.

According to 'Rating2016', a project by the Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Research measuring political, government and other figures' prospective ratings among the Russian public, Poklonskaya has moved up to 10th among the most respectable prospective candidates for the 2016 parliamentary elections. The project attributes the Crimean Prosecutor's climbing rating to her appearance in the powerful documentary film 'Crimea: The Way Home', watched by 40 percent of Russians back in March, "which caused a new wave of interest in her as a person and in her public and political activities."

Rating2016 also emphasized that Kiev's continual threats against Poklonskaya, from placing her on a wanted list to arresting her in absentia, to numerous threats against her life made by nationalist radicals over the past year, have only increased interest toward her. Since taking charge of the Prosecutor's Office in March 2014, Poklonskaya's image is seen as the combination of beautiful appearance and a tough character, ready to stand up for the interests of the fledgling republic.

Poklonskaya came to prominence in Crimea and in Russia after handing in her resignation to the Ukrainian General Directorate of Internal Affairs in Kiev in February 2014, citing her inability to accept living "in a country where neo-fascists freely walk about the streets." She would accept the proposal of then-recently elected Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov to become Prosecutor General of the Republic of Crimea, which several male candidates had previously rejected, fearing for their personal safety. Since then, Poklonskaya has become one of the symbols of the so-called 'Russian Spring' in Crimea, capturing the attention, and the hearts and minds, of Russians and foreigners alike.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin Awarded Poklonskaya the rank of Judicial Counsellor 3rd Class, a rank equivalent to that of Major General, up from her previous rank of Senior Counsellor of Justice, Kazinform refers to

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