A relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin has been chosen to head a start-up political party whose platform focuses on fighting corruption.
Roman Putin, the son of the Kremlin leader’s cousin, Igor Putin, was chosen July 5 as chairman of the People Against Corruption political party.
Roman Putin, a former officer of the powerful Federal Security Service (FSB), which Putin headed in the 1990s, said the party will take part in regional elections this year and in national parliamentary elections next year, RIA Novosti reported.
Russia’s opposition has accused Putin of permitting widespread corruption during his nearly 21 years in power as either president or prime minister. Several of Putin’s friends from the 1990s have become billionaires since his rise to power in 1999.
Those friends, which include the Rothenberg brothers, have earned their wealth in part from state contracts.
Russia’s dominant political party, United Russia, has seen its ratings fall in recent years amid growing discontent over stagnating living standards.
Aleksei Navalny, a leading Putin critic and founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, has built a large social-media following around his attempts to expose graft at the highest levels of government and in the United Russia party.
Roman Putin, 42, ran a business in the early 2010s before becoming an adviser on economics and investment to the governors of Novosibirsk and the Yamalo-Nenets region.