Prosecutor Poklonskaya likely to join pro-Putin United Russia party, run for parliament - report
An influential Russian daily reports that Crimean prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya is “most likely” to get a parliamentary seat in the 2016 federal polls representing the current majority party United Russia.
The newspaper quoted an unnamed source in the United Russia’s leadership as saying that it had already begun the preparations to the 2016 parliamentary campaign and the preferred method will be to attract well-known personalities in order to boost the party’s rating.
“Naturally, we’re considering the people who can do good both to our party and the country in general, such as Natalya Poklonskaya,” the source stated.
Izvestia went on to suggest that the senior Crimean Prosecutor had already begun preparations for a parliamentary career as at the moment she is the only prosecutor with a notable mass media presence. She was ranked 10th out of 100 Russian politicians by the Institute of Socio-Political and Economic Research in connection with the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
However, the head of the Center for Strategic Communications think tank, Dmitry Abzalov, said in comments that the public associated Poklonskaya with the Crimean Spring – the ascension of the republic into the Russian Federation in 2014 – and therefore had a very good chance of receiving broad support. The only problem that could appear in connection with this plan is that it could be difficult to find a replacement for the Crimean prosecutor.
“Many people have refused to take this post because there are certain risks in it. And a prosecutor must have enough authority and at the same time have an attractive image,” the analyst noted.
In earlier interviews, Poklonskaya told reporters that Ukrainian law enforcers threatened her with prison and death for accepting the post.
“I replied that I would rather be in a prison cell than work for fascists,” she told TASS. The head of the Crimean Republic, Sergey Aksyonov, said that in 2014 his administration together with legislature had rejected six candidates for the post that Poklonskaya accepted.
The Supreme Legislature of the Crimean Republic appointed Poklonskaya to the post of chief prosecutor on March 11, 2014. This was simultaneous with the formation of the Crimean Prosecutor’s Office by the order of Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika. On May 7, 2014, she was sworn in to the post.
In December 2014, Crimean law enforcers reported that they had thwarted a plot targeting Poklonskaya and members of her office.
The prosecutor became popular in the mass media and especially on the internet right after her very first news conference in office. The video went viral on the internet, largely due to her stunning good looks, collecting millions of views. Soon after that Poklonskaya became an internet idol, especially in Japan where her fans dubbed her ‘Prosecutie’, and launched a cult of devotees who called themselves ‘Nataliaites’.
Poklonskaya, however, frowns upon her internet-celebrity status. “I am a lawyer, not a Pokemon or something,” she once said.