MOSCOW, July 8 (Itar-Tass) - Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanian’s election headquarters has finished collecting signatures in support of his bid for a new mayoral term.
“The collection of signatures has virtually been stopped. We have collected the required number,” Lyudmila Guseva of Sobyanian’s election headquarters, said on Monday, July 8.
A total of 1,018 volunteers were collecting signatures in support of Sobyanin. They collected more than 118,000 signatures.
Thirty-eight potential candidates have announced their intention to run for the post. They have to collect more than 73,000 signatures in their support from Muscovites and 110 signatures from municipal deputies in order to be registered as candidates. July 10 is the last day when the election commission accepts the documents.
On July 3, Ivan Melnikov of the Communist Party became the first to have submitted the full package of documents to the election commission.
Early mayoral election will be held in Moscow on September 8 and will be the first one in ten years.
In early June, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on early termination of Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s tour of duty.
Sobyanin had earlier tendered resignation, asking the president to accept it.
Putin accepted his resignation and instructed him to remain as acting mayor of Moscow until the mayoral election, the date of which will be set by the Moscow City Duma.
At a meeting with Putin on June 5, Sobyanin said he had discussed the issue of holding an early mayoral election in Moscow with the Moscow City Duma deputies and representatives of the local authorities at a meeting of the Public Council.
“This is the first time in the last ten years that it is now legally possible to hold such an election, and after consultations, I decided that it would be the right thing to hold this election this year,” the mayor said.
Putin noted that Sobyanian had been working successfully and asked him to continue this work. “I will sign today an executive order naming you as acting mayor until the election, and I ask you to ensure that all of the city’s services continue working without problem,” he said.
“No matter what domestic political events are going on, in a huge city like Moscow, maintaining social and public order is essential. I hope you will manage. We have been working together for a long time now and I know your abilities,” Putin said.
He asked Sobyanin if he was going to run in the election.
“Yes, Mr President,” the mayor replied. “We have a number of big programmes underway in Moscow and it would not be right to abandon them midway. I therefore think I should run in the election.”
Putin wished him success.