The doppelgangers spoiling one St. Petersburg lawmaker’s campaign are here to stay
St. Petersburg’s Municipal Election Council has dismissed two complaints filed by city councilman Boris Vishnevsky, who will face two rivals in elections later this month who changed their first and last names to match his. To avoid confusion with voters, Vishnevsky demanded that ballots display these other candidates’ previous names, but election officials ruled that such disclosures are only necessary when candidates’ full names (middle names, or patronymics, included) are the same.
A working group inside the Municipal Election Council reportedly pressured the other Vishnevskys to display their previous surnames on campaign materials, however.
Russian Central Election Chairwoman Ella Pamfilova has criticized the nomination of Vishnevsky’s doppelgangers and vowed to propose legislation to prevent “such shameful cases” from reoccurring.