Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ally won Moscow’s mayoral election over opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who gathered thousands of supporters to protest claims of ballot rigging even after faring better than polls predicted.
A Russian state broadcaster’s “technical error” in reporting that President Dmitry Medvedev had picked Sergei Sobyanin to become Moscow mayor shows that the Kremlin remains divided on the nomination, analysts said.
Less than 24 hours after Alexei Navalny, corruption fighter and President Vladimir Putin’s fierce opponent, was handcuffed and led away to serve a five- year prison sentence, he was free again to run for mayor of Moscow. Guessing at the reasons for the turnaround has become the Moscow political community’s favorite game in recent days, showing that no one really understands the workings of the nation’s Byzantine government.
Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin will probably win the first direct election for the city’s leader in a decade in the first round, according to a survey published by the Russian research company Levada Center.