By: Elena Semerikina

The head of Women’s Dialogue, a party affiliated with majority party United Russia, has told reporters of her intent to stand in the 2018 presidential elections. Yelena Semerikova means to use the promotion opportunities to support Vladimir Putin.

In a recent interview with popular business daily Kommersant, Semerikova said that her decision to run for the Russian Presidency still needed confirmation at her party’s upcoming conference. She also emphasized that if her party colleagues support her intention to run, and the authorities duly register her as a candidate, she will promote Vladimir Putin because she fully agrees with the incumbent’s political course.

She also promised that in the course of her campaign she would attract public attention to contacts between women’s groups from the USA and Ukraine and Russian citizens.

60-year old Yelena Semerikova is a former military logistics manager who switched to a political career in the early 2000s by becoming an aide to the leaders of the United Russia party.  In 2003 she headed the Women’s Dialogue movement that in 2012 was re-registered as a political party under the same name. Women’s dialogue remains a partner organization of the United Russia party.

Earlier this month two more women – journalists and former socialites Kseniya Sobchak and Yekaterina Gordon announced presidential ambitions. However, only Gordon promised to defend women’s rights if elected, while Sobchak publicly announced that she sees herself as a replacement for “none of the above” option that is not on the Russian elections ballots. Semerikova said that in her opinion the two women would not be able to properly represent Russian women’s movements

No sooner had Kommersant released the interview in which Semerikova declared her intention to run than another woman – the chair of the National Parents’ Committee NGO Irina Volynets – also told reporters that she planned to take part in the 2018 presidential polls, possibly on the ticket of one of the minor political parties. Volynets described her presidential program as a strengthening of Russian social policies.

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