Harry Ivanovich Potter for governor?
Provincial candidate will test famous name in Russia
People are going mad; they are doing things unthinkable for a sane person.
-- Archbishop Vikenty of Ekaterinburg
MOSCOW - Harry Potter has captivated readers and movie-goers worldwide, but a Russian man has decided to see if the famous name can pass an altogether different test -- winning him election as a provincial governor.
After previous unsuccessful election campaigns in the Sverdlovsk region, the 32-year-old hopes to enlist a little magical help from the boy wizard by changing his name to Harry Ivanovich Potter, NTV television reported.
Russians can change their family name, but must always have a middle name derived from their father's first name -- a law that prevented the aspiring politicians from being called plain Harry Potter.
The boy wizard, created by British author J.K. Rowling, has proved a controversial figure in Russia where some Russian Orthodox priests have said the Harry Potter stories encourage satanism and undermine Christianity.
"People are going mad; they are doing things unthinkable for a sane person," said Archbishop Vikenty of Ekaterinburg, capital of the Urals region, when NTV told him about the change.
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