Obama-effect! Barack helps Russian politician get elected

A Moscow region politician has won a local election with the unwitting help of Barack Obama. Aleksandr Filippov used an image of the American President on a campaign leaflet, helping him win 55.6 per cent of the vote.

The victory comes despite the fact his tactics were a violation of election law.

In order to use a person’s image in the election campaign a candidate needs to have his written permission, according to Valentina Smirnova, head of the Moscow region election committee.

The March 1 election saw a number of other violations, Smirnova said. For example, in one of the areas people received SMS text messages calling on people to vote for a certain candidate. This irritated the voters who complained their personal information was being violated by the campaigning.