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September 24, 2021

Putin ally Sergei Sobyanin wins Moscow mayor election

Kremlin-backed candidate Sergei Sobyanin has won the election for mayor of Moscow, Russian election officials have announced, the BBC reports. Mr Sobyanin secured 51.3% – just above the 50% threshold needed to avoid a second-round ballot.
His main rival, opposition leader Alexei Navalny, polled 27.2%.
Mr Navalny called for a run-off and refused to recognise the results, saying they had been “deliberately falsified”.
Mr Navalny said he had won enough votes to force a second round and that the count had been marred by “many serious violations”.
But Moscow’s electoral commission said there had been no serious violations and a run-off would not take place. With all the votes counted, the commission said turnout in the Moscow vote was a low 32%. The Communist candidate, Ivan Melnikov, came third with 10.7%. Mr Sobyanin, once President Putin’s chief of staff, told supporters earlier the election had been transparent. “We have something to be proud of,” he said at a late-night rally in Bolotnaya Square. “We have organised the most honest and open elections in the history of Moscow.”

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