President Vladimir Putin has accepted Kovtun’s application for an early retirement. In a meeting with the president on in Moscow on Monday she asked to be released from the position in order to take part in this autumn’s elections, the Kremlin’s web site reads.
“I want to secure the support from my countrymen, to assure myself that everything we do has or has not their support, but they need to express it to me,” Kovtun said in her explanation to the president.
Kovtun is appointed acting governor until the time of the elections.
She said that her wish to step back is motivated by the fact that nearly three quarters of the people in the region will be entitled to vote on September 14th, as twenty municipalities will be having local elections simultaneously with the governor election. “The combination of these elections will allow us to consolidate efforts, to effectively carry out a combined election campaign and save budgetary funds.”
The names of any other candidates in the governor elections are still unknown.
Kovtun was born in Murmansk in 1962 and has lived and worked in the region all her life. She has held several positions in the regional administration within the departments for public social safety, for tourism, sport and culture, and for economic development. The three last years she has had high-ranking positions in the Norilsk Nickel regional subsidiary Kola Mining and Metallurgy Company, lately as Deputy General Director.
In December 2011 Marina Kovtun was elected to the Murmansk Regional Duma, where she took position as First Deputy Speaker and also became head of United Russia’s fraction.