YEKATERINBURG, August 29 (Itar-Tass) - Sverdlovsk region governor Yevgeny Kuivashev asked election officials to bar all the mayoral election candidates with criminal background from coming to power.
"Dear colleagues, I'm asking you to carefully consider how effective legislation can deal with certain candidates involved in the activity of organized criminal groups and also the candidates who had managed to conceal problems with the law, or who began to have them during the election campaign. Criminals should not gain access to government bodies. It automatically flings back any municipality to the 1990s. We all remember well how it was back then," Kuivashev said at a meeting of the Yekaterinburg election commission on Thursday.
At present, regional prosecutors are looking into information about mayoral candidate Yevgeny Roizman's links to ethnic criminal groups, reported by a federal television channel. He represents the Civil Platform Party.
Civil Platform slammed the allegations in a statement on Thursday.
"There's nothing to comment here. Much of the recent information related to Roizman is engineered provocation. Nothing has changed in the methods used by the pro-Kremlin spin doctors; they resort to the same dirty technologies," Civil Platform's press service told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
"Roizman's ratings have soared, so they decided to publicly slander him just a week before the election, and issue specific threats."
Sverdlovsk region police said they had evidence of Roizman having links to the criminal world.
"We have this information; we'll provide it upon request by a court or some other government body," a regional police representative told Tass.
When asked why police had not opened a criminal case against Roizman since they had evidence suggesting criminal connections, the representative said "it is still at a stage of verification and surveillance that last for months, yet certain results are already available."
Roizman is head of the City without Drugs fund. The election for mayor is on September 8.