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Hollywood star Steven Seagal eyes gubernatorial seat in Russia’s Far East

Hollywood actor Steven Seagal said he would like to become the Primorsky Region’s governor

VLADIVOSTOK, September 26. /TASS/. Hollywood actor Steven Seagal, recently appointed as the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Special Envoy for Russian-US humanitarian relations, has told an audience at the Pacific Meridian International Film Festival in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok that he would like to become the Primorsky Region’s governor.

"My father’s family is from here. Every time I come here, I want to see more of the Primorsky Krai and become your Governor," he said in response to a question as to whether he would like to take the reins as head of the region.

However, according to the Primorsky Region’s election code and Russian federal laws, Russian nationals "who have foreign citizenship, residence permits or other documents proving their right to permanently reside in a foreign state" are not eligible to become governors. That being said, in addition to holding a Russian passport, Steven Seagal is also a US citizen by birth and obtained Serbian citizenship in January 2016.

Since the results of the gubernatorial election held in the Primorsky Region in early September have been cancelled, the question of who will become the next governor is rather pertinent. According to the outcome of the second round of the election, which took place on September 16, Acting Governor Andrei Tarasenko, representing the United Russia party, secured a victory. With 100% of the vote counted, he gained 49.55% (or 253,200 votes), while his rival, Communist contender Andrei Ischenko, garnered 48.06% (or 245,550 votes). However, the candidates accused each other of violating the law and the Central Election Commission recommended the regional election commission cancel the election’s results due to vote rigging and "the impossibility of identifying the will of voters."

A new election is expected to take place before December 16.