Watermelon seller aiming to become Russia’s Obama

August 31st, 2009 - 2:50 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama London, Aug 31 (ANI): Inspired by US President Barack Obama, an African-born watermelon seller wants to become the first black man to hold public office in Russia.

In fact, Joaquim Crima has also adopted a Russian patronymic, Vassily Ivanovich.

Crima, who has an Armenian wife, goes on his election campaign trail only after changing into his suit

“The destiny of this region concerns me deeply. Our life here is miserable. And my dream is to change it,” Sky News quoted him as saying.

The aspiring politician says that selling watermelons is not his true calling, as he has got his sights set far higher.

While the reaction on the campaign trail has been widely positive, he still plays it safe by being constantly flanked by his burly minder.

He is greeted with a smile from behind each door he knocks on, and he spends ample time with every family.

He has clearly made an impact in the Soviet nation, and is well liked and respected.

Most people in the southern Russian district of Srednyaya Akhtuba lack running water, heating and basic sanitation, but Crima has said that he can tackle that - if people let go of prejudice.

However, despite growing local support, authorities seem less than keen on his campaign.

“Some men came to me and offered me money if I get out of the race. They said I had no chance in this election. But I told them - why are you offering me money if you are so sure I will lose? I want the people to decide,” he said.

Crima has revealed that he has been inspired by Obama’s message of change.

And his election motto is “Yes we can!” (ANI)

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