Russian election officials say the acting mayor of Sochi, the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics, has been elected to the post by an apparent overwhelming margin.
With 80 percent of the votes counted, officials say Kremlin-backed Mayor Anatoly Pakhamov won more than 76 percent of Sunday's mayoral vote. The closest opposition candidate, Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov, was a distant second with 13 percent and communist Yuri Dzaganiya was far behind in third place.
Voter turnout was listed at about 38 percent.
Nemtsov accused authorities of suppressing the opposition's campaign by limiting media access. Unidentified assailants threw chemicals in his face outside his election headquarters last month. He was not seriously hurt.
Some opposition members also say they are suspicious of the large number of voters who cast ballots early.
The new mayor of Sochi will play a major part in getting the city ready for the 2014 Olympic games. But Russian authorities have slashed the federal construction budget for Sochi because of the global economic crisis and a lack of contractor bids.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.