Now Official: 40-Year-Old Single Mother to Challenge Putin in Russian Presidential Election

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.18 - 2023 12:52 PM CET

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40-Year-Old Single Mother to Challenge Putin in Russian Presidential Election.

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In November, Yekaterina Duntsova announced her intention to run for the Russian presidency, a story previously covered here on Now, it's official: Duntsova is set to challenge Putin in the upcoming election.

Yekaterina Duntsova, a journalist and local politician from the Tver region, has been officially nominated by a group of supporters to run in Russia's 2024 presidential election.

Her candidacy, announced by her campaign on Sunday, has sparked various reactions, including accusations of Kremlin endorsement, which she denies, and concerns about potential prosecution under Russia's strict wartime laws.

The official start of Duntsova's election campaign was marked by a gathering of hundreds of supporters in Moscow, despite efforts to keep the meeting location secret until the last minute to avoid police interference. During the endorsement event, the venue experienced an unexpected power outage, which Duntsova's campaign referred to as "little shenanigans" that they would overcome together.

One of Duntsova's supporters, a member of the women's activist group Myagkaya Sila (Soft Power), was detained in Krasnoyarsk after attending the nomination meeting. The supporter was reportedly accused of falsely filing a complaint against a police officer.

To appear on the ballot, Duntsova must now collect 300,000 signatures from at least 40 regions and submit them to Russia's Central Electoral Commission for review. Her campaign plans to start gathering signatures in early January.

Meanwhile, United Russia, the pro-Kremlin ruling party, has endorsed President Vladimir Putin as an independent candidate for the 2024 election, a race he is widely expected to win.

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