News / Europe

Who is the Real Winner in Moscow Mayoral Election?

Moscow Mayor: Who is the Real Winner?i
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
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

Video Egyptian Journalists Call for Press Freedom

Despite release of al-Jazeera journalists and others, Egyptian Journalist Syndicate says some remain imprisoned More

Turkey Survey Indicates Traditional Distrusts, Shift to the West

Comprehensive public opinion survey also found a large majority of those interviewed distrust all countries other than country’s neighbor, Azerbaijan More

Pakistan Court Upholds Death Sentence in Blasphemy Killing

Highest court upholds sentence of Mumtaz Qadri convicted of 2011 killing a provincial governor for criticizing country’s controversial blasphemy law More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs