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OMSK, June 17 (Itar-Tass) —— The turnout in the early mayoral election in Omsk, the second largest city of Siberia, was extremely low as of 6:00 p.m. local time (3:00 p.m. Moscow time). Less than 140,000 out of 900,000 Omsk voters (slightly more than 15%) had visited polling stations by that time, the city elections commission told Itar-Tass.
The turnout stood at 33.57% by the same time in the mayoral election of 2005 and 36.1% in 2010. The Omsk regional elections commission explained the low turnout with the midst of the summer season. The overwhelming majority of Omsk residents preferred staying at their dachas or swimming – water temperature is almost 25 degrees Centigrade in the Irtysh River. Besides, people are tired of elections: there have been four elections in the city in the past six months, including the elections of the State Duma, the Russian president and the Regional Legislative Assembly.
Another cause of the low turnout is the constant criticism of former Mayor Viktor Shreider by local politicians and the media. Shreider won the election in 2010 but never performed his duties fully. He was elected to the State Duma on December 4, 2011, and decided to quit the mayoral position. People who voted for him lost confidence in local authorities.
The number of people at polling stations declined further after 6:00 p.m. local time.
There are seven candidates in the election – Vyacheslav Dvorakovsky (United Russia), Viktor Zharkov (the Communist Party), Yan Zelinsky (the Liberal Democratic Party), Alexander Korotkov (Yabloko), Irina Overina (A Just Russia) and self-nominated candidates Igor Antropov and Sergei Maslennikov.
The election is broadcasted live at http://www.webvybory2012.ru.