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MOSCOW, October 9 (Itar-Tass) — The Yabloko Party candidate for Bryansk region governor Andrei Ponomaryov said he was dropping out of the election race in favor of incumbent governor Nikolai Denin.
"I've made this move in the interests of the region; by no means KPRF candidate Vadim Potomsky should win the polls," Ponomaryov told Itar-Tass.
"Pollsters said I could not win the standoff against Potomsky," he acknowledged, "so, in this situation, a decision was made to consolidate around one candidate: acting governor Nikolai Denin."
Ponomaryov reminded that the candidate from the Liberal Democratic Party /LDPR/ Mikhail Marchenko had withdrawn from the election race, too.
"Potomsky is not native to the Bryansk region; also, there is much negative information about him and his business. They've invested tremendous funds into the campaign, and they've done it in order to get paid back later. Who will be paying, residents of the region?" Ponomaryov said.
He said he intended to defend his position at a meeting of the Party's Bureau, although on Monday, Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin stated that after withdrawing from the gubernatorial election race, Ponomaryov would be expelled.
"We've had some tensions with Sergei Mitrokhin, but I'm confident we in Bryansk know the better which move is right. The date for the Bureau's meeting has not been set; normally, it meets once a month," the politician said noting that he was hoping for support of Yabloko's informal leader Grigory Yavlinsky.
On Monday, two candidates for the post of Bryansk region governor - Marchenko and Ponomaryov – announced they were withdrawing from the race. At present, there remain two registered candidates – Vadim Potomsky of the Communist party and incumbent governor Nikolai Denin.
Denin's participation in the election is still in doubt. On October 5, the Bryansk regional court annulled his registration, thus meeting Potomsky's petition, who had claimed that Denin's signature lists had been drawn with violations.
The regional election commission appealed to the Supreme Court and Denin will remain a gubernatorial candidate pending the ruling by higher court. The Supreme Court is to announce its decision by October 10. If it upholds the ruling by the regional court, Communist Potomsky will be the only candidate. In that case, the election cannot take place.