Barsik the cat a frontrunner in Siberian city election

Tired of the dog-eat-dog politics in their Russian city, the residents of Barnaul say they want a cat to be their next mayor.

Hundreds of Barnaul residents say they would rather vote for a cat than for the 6 other candidates

Barsik, seen here as a kitten in 2014, is now an 18-month-old cat and election hopeful in the Russian city of Barnaul. (Handout/AFP)

Tired of the dog-eat-dog politics in their Russian city, the residents of Barnaul say they want a cat to be their next mayor.

The Siberian city of 650,000 people, which lies 2,900 kilometres (1,800 miles) east of Moscow, is to get a new mayor next week. A commission made up of the city council and the regional governor are to choose the next city manager from among six candidates.

Barsik the cat (centre) and his mayoral opponents. Nearly 92 per cent of Barnaul residents who answered an unofficial poll about their voting intentions said they would vote for the cat. (Altai Online)

But none of the six appear to spark much affection among Barnaul's residents. An informal online poll asking residents to express their preferences among the six and a cat named Barsik showed the feline nabbing more than 90 per cent of the vote.

Barsik has attracted much amused attention in the Russian news media. Still, some local politicians understand there's a more serious message coming from the people of Barnaul, which like many Russian cities has been riddled with alleged corruption.

"Through the image of Barsik the cat, our people are sending definite wishes to the future head of Barnaul," says regional Gov. Alexander Karlin.

"The conclusion has been made that there's absolutely no trust among voters for any of the candidates," said local Communist Party official, Ivan Karpov. 

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