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Commander of the Zhukovsky emergency situation department Andrei Voityuk, who was supported by acting Governor of the Moscow Region Andrei Vorobyev, has won at the early mayoral elections in the Moscow regional town Zhukovsky. The early mayoral elections were aggravated with the scandals over the bribing of the voters. Despite numerous violations and a massive bribing of voters, which the observers exposed, the Moscow Regional Election Commission stated that there are no reasons to find the elections invalid. Igor Novikov, a nominee from the Civic Platform of business tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov, who came second in the mayoral elections, already stated that he will challenge the election results in the court.
The Novye Izvestia daily noted that according to the reports of the Moscow Regional Election Commission, Andrei Voityuk gained 36.77% of votes. Candidate from the Civic Platform Igor Novikov came second with 27.66% of votes, Communist Alexander Anikanov was the third with 25.04% of votes. According to chief editor of the Zhukovskiye Vesti newspaper Natalia Znamenskaya, this means that most Zhukovsky voters supported Voityuk. In the view of Znamenskaya, the elimination of the required turnout level discredits the legitimacy of any elections at all.
Chairman of the Moscow Regional Election Commission Irek Vildanov noted that not Andrei Voityuk, who conducted “a well-prepared” election campaign, but “the defeated candidates” committed the violations at the mayoral elections. Their actions “cannot cause the cancelation of the election results,” the Kommersant daily reported. However, Igor Novikov will challenge the election results in the court.
Acting Mayor of the Moscow Region Andrei Vorobyev is confident that Voityuk has won “in a competitive and uncompromising struggle.” On Monday, Mikhail Prokhorov has made a statement that “a decision to find the election results invalid can be the only correct one in such conditions.” He accused personally Andrei Vorobyev of the fact that despite numerous violations the elections were found fair. Prokhorov stated that Vorobyev allegedly “failed to pass a check for political maturity and to become an impartial judge.”
“Cogs in the machine are needed for the vertical of power, but not people with the ideas, who can cast into the shade Vorobyev at the local level,” the Kommersant daily quoted political strategist Alexei Roshchin as saying. He stated that “arbitrariness is growing” at the elections. “It is explained by the fact that not a single person was punished for outstanding falsifications at the elections in the State Duma. This was taken as an indicator that it is possible to do whatever you want in the regions,” he believes.
The Moskovsky Komsomolets daily asked President of the St. Petersburg Politics Foundation Mikhail Vinogradov to give comments on the issue. “The election results sound quite competitive and reflect adequately political views of protesters in Zhukovsky, though the protesting movement could have been more active in the town,” the expert noted. He recalled that in December 2011 United Russia came third, even not second at the elections in the State Duma in the foresaid scientific township. Therefore, a candidate from the incumbent state authorities Voituyk was running in the early mayoral elections as a self-nominee, without mentioning United Russia. In the view of the expert, the victory of a common candidate could have been more probable, if the Communist Party and Prokhorov’s party had merged.