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MOSCOW, March 20 (Itar-Tass World Service) —— United Russia, which has not demonstrated best results at the parliamentary elections, faces problems with fighting for positions of mayors. In Togliatti, United Russia’s candidate lost the election to a self-nominated candidate, and in Yaroslavl a mayor candidate Yakov Yakushev of United Russia was appointed Deputy Mayor before the second round in order to make him win. Meanwhile, the opposition in Astrakhan are on a hunger strike as they refuse to agree with the victory of United Russia’s candidate for the position of the city’s mayor.
In Togliatti, former minister of natural resources of the Samara region and former head of the regional branch of the Right Course Sergei Andreyev scored 56.94 percent of the vote, the Novye Izvestia reports. The main contestant, Shakhov of United Russia, lagged behind hopelessly with the gained 40.06 percent. The turnout at the election was 37 percent, which is much lower than the turnout on March 4, which was registered at 60 percent, but this can be explained by the fact that the first round was organised simultaneously with Russia’s presidential election.
In Yaroslavl, after the voting on March 4, the second round will feature Evgeny Urlashov /40.25 percent/, supported by region’s branches of CPRF /Communist Party of the Russian Federation/, A Just Russia, Yabloko and non-governmental organisation Democratic Choice, and a deputy of the region’s legislature Yakov Yakushev /27.12 percent/, the Kommersant reports. In order to make sure the United Russia’s candidate wins in the second round, the local authorities decided to grant additional administrative resource to him – Yakushev was appointed First Deputy Mayor.
The newspaper writes about the hunger strike of supporters of former deputy of the State Duma, member of A Just Russia Oleg Shein, who has lost the election. Having started the hunger strike on March 16, on the inauguration day of the new mayor – Mikhail Stolyarov /60 percent of the vote/ of United Russia – the opposition promises to continue it till at least March 24. For the coming Saturday, Oleg Shein said, Astrakhan’s branch of A Just Russia plan a rally. Those on the hunger strike include two communists, Shein said.
The decision to start a hunger strike followed a refusal from the region’s election commission to demonstrate video proofs of election violations, the Novye Izvestia writes. “As for any methods of cancelling elections in this country, they are useless, as it is practically impossible to cancel them,” leader of the monitoring department of the Golos Association Andrei Buzin said. “I can name several occasions of cancelling election results in the regions, but they were caused by the fact that the victory was not of a candidate whom organisers, which is administration, would need.” The expert doubts the hunger strike in Astrakhan may cause cancellation of the election results.