Disillusioned Siberians want cat to be mayor

A photoshopped image by Altai Online of the cat on a billboard in Barnual

Story highlights

  • Cat wins more than 90% of votes in unofficial poll for town mayor
  • Recent political scandals leave Barnual residents disillusioned

(CNN)A town in Siberia has given further proof that 2016 is the year of the political outsider, after declaring they want to be ruled by a cat.

Dissatisfied with corrupt politicians, residents in Barnual are pushing for Barsik, an 18-month Scottish Fold, to become their new mayor.
    The cat has won more than 5,000 votes against six human rivals, in an unofficial poll run by popular regional social media page, Altai Online, on Russian social network Vk.
    This vote share amounted to a staggering 91.6% by Wednesday.
    "The success of Barsik is down to the other candidates not being well known to the citizens of the city," Altaysky Seyatel, administrator of the forum, told CNN.
    "People don't understand the other candidates' programs, their motives for the nomination, or what they want to do for the city."
    "Who would you like to see as the new mayor of Barnaul?"
    Some of Barsik's supporters shared their reasons for support in the anonymous poll.
    Evgheniy Evdoseenko posted: "What the cat could steal at most is Whiskas (a brand of cat food)," before claiming that the human candidates were likely to buy "yachts".
    "By Barsik's eyes I see he is concerned about the people," wrote another supporter, Yury Vladimirovich.
    No one came within a whisker of the 18-month-old cat.
    After a number of recent corruption scandals, mistrust of conventional politicians is said to be high in the town located 2,220 miles (3,600 km) east of Moscow. Igor Savintsev -- the previous mayor -- resigned in August.
    Despite its popularity, the feline politician is unlikely to be made mayor. A commission involving regional governor Alexander Karlin and the city council will appoint a new leader next week.