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Cat leads race to become Siberian city's new mayor

Wednesday December 16th 2015

A Siamese cat is the overwhelming favourite to become the new mayor of a western Siberian city.

Blue-eyed Barsik is ahead in the polls to become Barnaul's new mayor, with nearly nine out of 10 residents voting for the moggy in an online survey. The 2,000-plus respondents placed fluffy Barsik ahead of six two-legged candidates.

A regional internet organisation put the puss up for office through Vkontakte, one of the country's social media sites. Aleksandr Reshetnikov, a social media enthusiast, reckons that voters are turning to Barsik because they think he is the best "man" for the job.

The previous mayor Igor Savintsev was sacked after a corruption scandal. He has been succeeded by Petr Frisen before the forthcoming elections.

Social media has been swamped with pledges of support for the feline favourite. "Barsik rules" and "Go, Barsik" are among the slogans regularly being posted on sites.

Copyright Press Association 2015