Moscow’s Upcoming Municipal Elections Attract Young Candidates

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 8, 2017)

The number of young candidate nominees in the upcoming Moscow municipal election has hit a record high, news outlet RBC reported Friday.

Of the 8,330 candidates reportedly seeking nomination, 3,073 (36.89 percent) are under the age of 35, according to RBC, whose calculations are based upon registered candidate data published on the Central Elections Commission website. While 25 percent of nominees in 2008 were under the age of 35, by 2012 the number had climbed to 32 percent.

Whereas the younger age bracket has seen an influx of municipal candidates, RBC reports that this year those over the age of 58 make up 17 percent of the total candidates. They composed nearly a quarter of the field in the last election.

In a comment to RBC, political scientist Nikolai Mironov attributed the shift to a general increase in political activity among the younger generations, saying that nominating local deputies may be the only chance for young people to participate in politics and public activities without being tied to the opposition.

“Aside from local politics, there is nowhere for them to go in Moscow: they would need big money and administrative resources, and the political lifts for them are closed,” Mironov said. “They are using the only opportunity open to them.”

The Russian youth have become increasingly visible in political life, particularly following opposition activist Alexei Navalny’s rise through social media. On March 26 and June 12, tens of thousands of Russian citizens protested against Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev after Navalny released a video detailing the politician’s spending habits.