Only in Russia:
The cleaner who accidentally won the election

The mayor asked the cleaner to run in the election against him, but then a surprise awaited him.

Mordechai Sones ,

Cleaner (illustrative)
Cleaner (illustrative)

Just a few days ago Marina Udgodskaya cleaned up the town offices, but she will soon be entering there as mayor of the new town.

Marina's victory in the election for the small town of Povalikhino in Russia surprised many, but it struck Marina in particular with astonishment. It all started when the incumbent mayor Nikolai Loktev saw that he was the only candidate for mayor in the upcoming election, and wanted to field a candidate so that there would be at least two candidates for the election.

Loktev managed to convince Marina to "face" him when he assured her that this was only a fictitious candidacy and that there was no chance that she would eventually be elected. Marina of course did not post posters or ads and almost forgot about it, but the townspeople thought otherwise.

A large proportion of the residents are tired of the current mayor and they actually preferred the Marina they knew as a decent and honest woman, and gave her 62 percent of the vote. Moments after the win, the astonished Marina said she was not sure she could handle such a quick promotion and that she had no intention of running for mayor at all.

Admittedly, after saying she was considering refusing to accept the new position, it was made clear to her that bowing out would obligate her to bear the heavy costs associated with a new election, and so she was forced to accept the position. Marina announced in her first speech that she "very much respects" Nikolai Loktev and that she hopes to continue working for the town.

Loktev, for his part, was unimpressed by Marina's abilities and argued in his defense in the media that the town was functioning perfectly and that apparently the citizens were just looking for some diversity in the leadership of the town. The townspeople say Marina will probably have to learn to get used to the new role, but they are sure she will get along with time.

It turns out that sometimes in order to win an election you do not have to have a clear agenda or a successful election campaign, all it takes is to be in the right place and at the right time.