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Barsik the Cat and other political animals

A handout picture taken on September 15, 2014 and released by administrators of the Altai Online page on Russian social network VK shows Barsik the cat emerging from behind a laptop in Barnaul. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Barsik the Cat emerges from behind a laptop in a photo released by campaign organisers

When it comes to prominent election campaign slogans, the one for Barsik the Cat clearly struck a chord with voters: "Only mice don't vote for Barsik!"

Residents of the town of Barnaul in Siberia, tired of corruption scandals, put Barsik's name forward for mayor in an unofficial online poll.

The 18-month-old finished ahead of his human rivals, with more than 90% of the 5,400 votes cast.

But, sadly for his supporters, he is not formally registered as a candidate, so will not be allowed to take office.

Barsik is far from alone, however - he is only the latest animal to be backed for political office. Some have even succeeded.

Limberbutt McCubbins

Image copyright Limberbutt McCubbins
Image caption Limberbutt McCubbins has his own 2016 campaign poster

The extravagantly-named cat from Kentucky is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2016 US election. There are no reliable polls to indicate where he is polling behind Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Limberbutt's campaign website says he "has a kind heart and fierce loyalty to America", backs affordable health care for all humans and cats, and supports increased space travel, especially for cats.

Saucisse the dachshund

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption (Picture posed by a different dachshund)

Saucisse - French for sausage - had already tasted fame thanks to appearances in his owner Serge Scotto's crime novels. But his career really took off in 1998, when he ran for mayor of Marseille as a protest candidate.

His campaign slogan translated as "For a more humane saus-iety, not a dog's life!" - and it seemed to work, as he gained 4.5% of the vote. He went on to compete in the 2002 presidential elections, but lost out to Jacques Chirac.

Sadly, Saucisse passed away in 2014 aged 16, but such was his notoriety, a park was named in his honour in Marseille.

Giggles the Pig

Image copyright Giggles the Pig for Flint Mayor
Image caption Giggles the Pig: No porkies here

It is quite something when a pig is one of the cleanest candidates on a ballot. Such was the case in Flint, Michigan, last month when nominees included two convicted criminals - among them one man who served 19 years in prison for murder.

"I think electing a mayor who was convicted of murder sends a bad message about our city," lawyer Michael Ewing said, when announcing the campaign to elect Giggles.

In the end, the mini-pig dropped out of the race. The convicted killer did not win either.

H'Angus the Monkey

Image copyright PA
Image caption H'Angus - not a real monkey

It is important to point out, should it not be obvious, that H'Angus is in fact a man - Stuart Drummond - dressed as a monkey.

H'Angus is the mascot of Hartlepool football club in the north-east of England, and was named mayor of the town in 2002 even though Mr Drummond initially ran as a joke.

Why a monkey? Folklore says a French ship was wrecked off Hartlepool in the Napoleonic Wars. A monkey found in the water was hanged by fishermen who feared it was a French spy.

Mr Drummond, under his real name, won two further elections. H'Angus, meanwhile, is still going strong.

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