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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Arkhangelsk Mayor Seeks Presidency

Itar-TassAlexander Donskoi waving Tuesday after declaring his presidential bid.
Arkhangelsk Mayor Alexander Donskoi confirmed Tuesday that he would seek the presidency in 2008.

Donskoi, 36, is a businessman who entered politics only recently, becoming mayor in 2005.

Somewhat surprisingly, Donskoi came out in favor of scrapping direct mayoral elections. All members of the executive branch, including the heads of village administrations, should be appointed by Moscow, he said.

Donskoi said although the country now had two so-called parties of power, United Russia and Just Russia, "there is no worthy party whose interests and plans would be shared by a majority of Russians," Interfax reported.

The mayor added that the country's so-called opposition parties had exhausted their usefulness.

The current political situation does not contribute to finding a solution to such critical problems as combatting widespread poverty, replacing worn-out housing in the cities and ensuring that Russian citizens are given priority in the labor market.

Donskoi said if elected president, he would dedicate himself above all to solving these problems.

The presidential hopeful also announced that he would create a national foundation in Arkhangelsk for combating poverty.