Sobyanin Wins Moscow Mayor Seat in First Round

TRUD: MAYORAL RACE SHOWED HONEST ELECTIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN RUSSIA - NAVALNY'S STELLAR 27% IS PROOF; STILL, INCREDIBLY LOW VOTER TURNOUT SHOWS A LOT OF TENSIONS, DISCONTENT IN SOCIETY

ELECTIONS WERE FAIR, AND THE SKY DIDN'T FALL. (By Sergei Rusev. Trud, Sept. 10, 2013, p. 1. Condensed text:) . . . On Sunday [Sept. 8], the country held elections for 7,000 posts at all levels. But certainly the most significant race took place in Moscow, which was electing a mayor for a five-year term. And this is not just capital city snobbery talking - the scale and relevance of this event for the country's immediate political future is what gives it such significance. Not to mention the scale of intrigue, of course. After all, Moscow is a state in itself if you consider the size of its population and how difficult it is to get a Moscow residence permit. Secondly, it was in Moscow that the opposition (in the face of Aleksei Navalny) showed what it's made of.

Now that we know the results, it makes sense to discuss the lessons of this race. But first, let's go over the figures announced yesterday by the Moscow City Electoral Commission. According to those data, Sergei Sobyanin won in the first round, garnering more than 51.37% of the vote. His closest rival, Aleksei Navalny, got 27.24% of the vote, while [Russian Federation Communist Party candidate] Ivan Melnikov got 10.69%. Yabloko party leader Sergei Mitrokhin was favored by 3.51% of Muscovites; Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Duma Deputy Mikhail Degtyaryov - 2.86%; and A Just Russia candidate Nikolai Levichev - 2.79%.

Of course, these numbers were not viewed as objective and conclusive by everyone. Immediately after the results were announced, Navalny demanded a recount and a second round of voting, vowing that he would not allow a single vote to be stolen and threatening to unleash mass protests. Sobyanin's ...

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