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MOSCOW, September 8 (Itar-Tass) - Acting Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin wins the first round of the mayoral race gaining support of 52.5% of voters, according to the exit polls conducted by Public Opinion Foundation.
His main rival - opposition leader Alexei Navalny received 29.1%. Ivan Melnikov nominated by the Communist Party came third getting 9.4%. Yabloko democratic party leader Sergei Mitrokhin got 3.4%.
The Liberal Democratic Party’s nominee Mikhail Degtyarev got 2.4% and candidate from A Just Russia Nikolai Levichev 2.2%.
The survey included 300 polling stations, including districts of the so-called new Moscow, a recently incorporated area to the south-west of the city.
Moscow mayoral elections were scheduled to be held in 2015, when Sergei Sobyanin’s term ran out. He was named as mayoral candidate by Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010, after which he was approved by the Moscow City Duma. However, on June 4, at a session of Moscow’s Public Chamber, Sobyanin put forward the idea of a snap election. The mayor then submitted resignation request to President Vladimir Putin and announced his plans to run in the election. Russia’s president accepted his resignation and named Sobyanin as acting mayor until the election, allowing him to participate as a candidate.
This election is the first one in the last 10 years. Sobyanin is the third mayor of Moscow as of October 21 of 2010. He replaced Yuri Luzhkov, who ran the city for 18 years and was dismissed September 28, 2010 due to “losing faith of Russia’s president.” The first mayor of Moscow in modern Russia was Gavriil Popov.