News / Europe

Who is the Real Winner in Moscow Mayoral Election?

Moscow Mayor: Who is the Real Winner?i
X
September 09, 2013 10:33 PM
It was a rarity for Russia: a competitive election. It was also a rarity for Russia’s political and financial capital - the first vote in 10 years for the post of mayor of Moscow. James Brooke reports on what the vote results mean for Russian politics.
James Brooke
Alexei Navalny lost Sunday’s election for mayor of Moscow.
 
But, at the same time, he is seen by many as the winner.
 
Denied TV ads, billboard ads, or even banners from balconies, Navalny fielded an army of 14,000 young volunteers. According to a Levada Center poll, 69 percent of potential voters had personal contact with a Navalny volunteer.
 
Political analyst Lilia Shevtsova says Navalny’s American-style campaign marks a turning point in modern Russian politics.
 
“Navalny is definitely the winner in yesterday’s election," Shevtsova, a senior analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center, said Monday. "Navalny’s result, over 27 percent, was not predicted by anyone. He can consolidate the electorate that is the new political generation in Russia.”

Sending a message
 
Sunday was the first time in a decade that Muscovites were allowed to vote for mayor. Olga Shukovskaya, a 40-year-old human rights lawyer, says she likes Navalny’s modern, democratic views.
 
Moscow mayoral election resultsMoscow mayoral election results
x
Moscow mayoral election results
Moscow mayoral election results
“I vote for Navalny because I believe he is the one that will guarantee my right to vote as a fundamental right and not a right that is given to me, as in the present case,” said Shukovskaya, who went to the polls with her young daughter, Dasha.
 
Konstantin Boryatski, a 29-year-old IT worker, said he voted for Navalny to send a message to the current mayor.
 
“I see the mistakes our current mayor is making and I would like them to listen to the opposition and let them speak their minds," Boryatski said after voting. "I think they will have many good ideas.”
 
Sergei Sobyanin, the current mayor, was appointed to the post three years ago.
 
On Sunday, by squeaking out a first round victory with 51 percent of the vote, Sobyanin won - but lost.
 
Analyst Shevtsova explains: “Fifty-one percent for the candidate of the Kremlin, for Sobyanin, it is really pretty low. It is a disaster for the Kremlin, because they have used all the gimmicks, all the instruments in their power to raise the turnout.”

Making the city shine?
 
But Sobyanin voters say he does a good job managing this city of 12 million people.
 
“Sobyanin is making real changes for Moscow that you can see," said Elena Toyakova, a bank employee. "I can see that the city is changing for the better.”
 
They say Sobyanin is making the city shine.
 
“Moscow is now more beautiful and cleaner," said Tatyana Alexseeyevna, a 62-year-old teacher. "Of course there are some minuses, but I think there are more pluses, and so I'm for Sobyanin. And I think things will get even better.”
 
The post of mayor of Moscow is considered the third most powerful political post in Russia - after the president and the prime minister - and many observers see it as a springboard to higher office. But Sunday’s low voter turnout and Sobyanin’s razor thin victory may have killed that talk.
 
“Sobyanin has failed personally to become the powerful potential candidate for the contender [for] the role of Putin’s successor,” said Shevtsova.
 
For now, the Kremlin is probably just happy to know that Moscow is in friendly hands.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: stevemd2 from: baltimore MD
September 09, 2013 7:10 PM
' the question is whether anyone can do anything to make the scene better as long as the former head of the KGB runs the show. He's also one of the super-rich - as communism collapsed, those in the party with power got ownership of most of the state run businesses

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid