A prominent Muslim woman has joined the list of candidates for the 2018 Russian Presidential elections among a growing number of female candidates.
Wife and adviser of a Russian mufti, Aina Gamzatova is a successful journalist and the head of Russia’s largest Muslim media holding.
She submitted her registration papers to the Central Elections Committee on Monday.
She was nominated for the position by a local initiative group in the Russian Republic of Dagestan in late December and is running as an independent candidate.
Gamzatova is the wife of the chief mufti of Dagestan, and serves as his public relations and government adviser. The 46-year-old also runs several charity organisations.
Running as an independent contender without the backing of a party means that Gamzatova has to submit as many as 300,000 signatures from supporters from all over Russia to qualify.
She is Russia’s first female Muslim presidential candidate. She is still to unveil a detailed election program.
The international media, including Al Jazeera, as well as German, Iranian, Indonesian, and Bosnian outlets have already started taking notice of her. Many Russian Muslims already support her.
The list of female candidates for this year’s Russian election is quite diverse. Earlier, Russian socialite Ksenia Sobchak, head of the Russian edition of the international fashion magazine L’Officiel joined the list. A crane operator Natalya Lisitsina, who represents leftist movement the All-Russian United Labor Front is also in the list, among other political figures.
The Russian presidential election is scheduled for March 18. Until now, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the veteran leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), is the only dominant rival candidate.
According to Ella Pamfilova, the head of the Central Elections Commission, 21 Russian political parties and 30 independent politicians and activists have declared their intention to run in the 2018 election.