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

Nearly 900 Dead, Missing in 2014 Air Disasters

Southeast Asia took a particularly heavy hit; 3 major events involved weather, two planes were shot down in eastern Ukraine, and one crash was attributed to mechanical problems More

Video Islamic State Emergence Transformed Syria, Iraq in 2014

'It was very clear that there were problems building up in Iraq at the end of 2013 but everybody was distracted by Syria,' says one expert, explaining group's rapid rise More

Rights Group: IS Executed Nearly 2,000 in Syria in 6 Months

Islamist group also killed 120 of its own members, most foreign fighters trying to return home, in past two months, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights 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.
Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaisei
X
Daniel Schearf
December 25, 2014 4:34 PM
Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video 2014 Saw Intensification of Boko Haram Insurgency

The year 2014 saw Nigerian militant sect Boko Haram intensify its five-year insurgency and target civilians in large numbers as it seized territory in the northeast. The kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Chibok in April sparked global outrage, but failed to become the turning point against the sect that Nigeria’s president said it would be. The picture at year's end is one of devastation and uncertainty. VOA’s Anne Look reports.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Fight to Survive Water Crisis

In a region choking from dwindling water supplies, Lebanon has long been regarded as one of the few places where there is enough. But in recent years, half the people in the country have faced severe shortages. And the more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon are hit the worst by the water crisis, making the country's most vulnerable people increasingly impoverished and sick. Heather Murdock reports for VOA in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid