NewsTV journalist Yekaterina Dunstova challenges Putin in upcoming Russian election

TV journalist Yekaterina Dunstova challenges Putin in upcoming Russian election

Moscow Kremlin, Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia
Moscow Kremlin, Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia
Images source: © Licencjodawca | Ekaterina Belova
11:35 AM EST, December 21, 2023

Proclaiming anti-war sentiments, 40-year-old Dunstova submitted her candidacy documents to the Central Election Commission on Wednesday, as reported by the Associated Press. By January 31, she needs to collect 300,000 signatures in support of her bid across at least 40 regions of Russia.

During a press conference in Moscow, Dunstova expressed a hopeful outlook that her decision could inspire her followers. "I feel a sense of fulfillment. We've done what we set out to do. This step we've taken, I hope it will inspire those who support us," she stated. The would-be-candidate acknowledged that registration is just the first hurdle: "Gathering signatures, of course, is a colossal task. I hope people will actively participate in it," she added.

The robust control Putin has imposed on the Russian political landscape during his 24-year rule makes his re-election in March almost a done deal, suggests the Associated Press. In a prior interview with the American press agency, Dunstova aired her concerns about the Kremlin's attacks on opposition activists and protesters. However, she stressed the necessity of presenting an "alternative" to Vladimir Putin and his policies. If elected, her first decree would be to order the release of political prisoners.

The Russian parliament has established the presidential election date for March 17, 2024. According to the Kremlin, as reported by Reuters, the current president commands significant public respect. Government polls indicate that public support for the 71-year-old Vladimir Putin stands at 80 percent.

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