Kremlin-backed incumbent Sergei Sobyanin is leading in Sunday’s vote which will decide whether he will remain the mayor of Moscow. First partial results show him ahead of other contenders with 57.7 percent, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Sobyanin’s closest opponent, anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, is shown as having garnered 21.6 percent, according to partial results.
Sobyanin, President Vladimir Putin's former chief of staff, was appointed Moscow’s mayor three years ago.
Navalny campaigned under the burden of a five-year prison sentence, which he is appealing. The 37-year-old opposition activist, who many say ran afoul of the Kremlin by attampting to expose alleged government corruption, says charges against him were politically motivated and intended to silence him.