The Russian city of Barnaul is to get a new mayor next week. The city with about 650,000 residents is about 2,900 kilometers or 1,800 miles to the east of Moscow.
|The mayor is to be picked not by vote but the city council together the regional governor will make the choice from six candidates. However, in a poll in which a cat named Barsik ran against the six official candidates, Barsik was the choice of more than 90 percent of those who voted. The cat naturally is somewhat of a media sensation. Residents are fed up with the corrupt city government. As the regional governor, Alexander Karlin, put it: "Through the image of Barsik the cat, our people are sending definite wishes to the future head of Barnaul." Ivan Karpov, a local Communist Party official said more bluntly: "The conclusion has been made that there's absolutely no trust among voters for any of the candidates."|