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Three namesakes and eccentric seek to become Arkhangelsk mayor

ST. PETERSBURG, March 31 (RIA Novosti) - The electoral commission of the northwestern Russian city of Arkhangelsk said on Monday it has received applications from three people called Sergei Moiseyev.

One of the three candidates, who share the same first name and surname, but have different patronymics (middle names), is a pensioner, while the other two work as truck and bulldozer drivers.

All the nine applicants for the post of the city mayor are independent candidates.

Applications will be received until April 5, and candidates will be officially registered within 10 days after the date. Local gubernatorial elections are set for May 25.

The electoral commission has also received documents from Dekabr Drevarkh-Prosvetlenniy, a city eccentric also dubbed Tree man, who tries to teach local residents about kindness, love, peace and tree planting.

The 44 year-old Tree man has religiously stood for all local polls since 2004 and recent presidential elections, when he failed to collect the required number of signatures in support of his application. In an interview with a local news portal he said that he doesn't aspire to wealth but wants only to advocate "universal tree planting."

"If each person shifts from the literal sense of the word 'tree' to its understanding of a tree as an object of honor and decency - I'll attain my end," he says.

In December 2006 he decided to run for the presidency again, but later declared that he wanted to become the "president of the earth," as it will make it easier for him "to teach the main commandment - plant your own tree."

He was taken to a psychiatric ward in January 2007 after reading a series of sermons from a 15-meter scaffold in central Arkhangelsk in which he urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to stay for the third term.

In February a court found former city mayor Alexander Donskoi guilty of using a fake university certificate and engaging in illegal business activities. He was ordered to pay a fine of 70,000 rubles (almost $3,000) and in early March he received three years of suspended sentence for abuse of office.

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