XIAMEN/China/, September 5. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that all candidates, who comply with the legal requirements, have the right to take part in the 2018 presidential elections and Ksenia Sobchak, the daughter of his close and late ally, is not an exception.
Last week, Vedomosti reported citing sources that a woman may run in next year’s presidential race, suggesting that this could be Ksenia Sobchak, the daughter of the late Anatoly Sobchak, the first democratically elected mayor of St. Petersburg who was once a political mentor to Putin.
Ksenia, 35, is a Russian TV anchor, celebrity socialite sometimes called "Russia’s Paris Hilton" who soared to stardom in Russia as the host of the Dom-2 reality show. Several years ago, she also rebranded herself as a political activist.
Commenting on the report about Sobchak’s possible bid for the presidency, Putin stressed he heard about that for the first time.
"I’m sure there can be other candidates, and certainly there will be some," the president said. "It’s not (up to) me who should decide who is better for the Russian people as president, in the end, this is decided at the elections. But all individuals, in line with the current legislation, if they comply with the requirements of the law, have the right to become candidates, and Ksenia Sobchak is not an exception," he noted.
Putin pointed out that he has great respect for Ksenia’s father, praising him as an outstanding figure in modern Russia. "He (Sobchak) was a very decent man, who played a big role in my life," Putin stressed.
However, things like "personal character may not play any significant role" as far as the presidential campaign is concerned, he said. Ksenia’s success or failure depends on her program and presidential campaign, if she indeed decides to run for the presidency, Putin stressed.