Putin’s Sagging Popularity Forces His Party To Use Tricks

Putin's Sagging Popularity Forces His Party To Use Tricks

Editor: Vladimir Bajic | Tactical Investor

Putin’s Sagging Popularity

Oleg Shein might seem like a perfect choice of a candidate to challenge the ruling-party incumbent in the race for governor in Russia’s Astrakhan Oblast.

A State Duma deputy who endured a 40-day hunger strike to press allegations of electoral fraud back in 2012, Shein polls well and his name is known beyond the southern region on the Caspian Sea.

Maybe too perfect.

On June 28, the A Just Russia party declined to nominate Shein, who would have put up some stiff competition for acting Governor Igor Babushkin, a career Federal Security Service (FSB) officer from the faraway Yaroslavl Oblast who was appointed to the post weeks earlier.

That potential competition, analysts say, is exactly why A Just Russia backed off, flawlessly playing its role as a Kremlin-controlled party that is nominally in the opposition but in reality serves the interests of President Vladimir Putin.

“In Astrakhan Oblast, Oleg Shein is a man who regularly polls very well, a man with a national reputation who won a single-mandate Duma seat in Astrakhan Oblast. The situation there is unclear and it appears the regional party conference wanted to nominate him, but the federal leadership said no.” Full Story

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