MOSCOW, June 4 (Itar-Tass) - Early mayoral elections may be held in Moscow on the Common Election Day on September 8. Sergei Sobyanin, whose powers at the post of the Moscow mayor will expire only in 2015, may declare about his early resignation in next few days, the media affirmed. Some media called this news report unreliable, but said that this question is being discussed now. One of the main reasons for Sobyanin’s possible decision to run in early mayoral elections may be the concerns over a possible rivalry with Mikhail Prokhorov.
“It is not ruled out that early mayoral elections will be announced in Moscow and will be held on the Common Election Day. For this purpose the Moscow City Duma is to take a decision over early elections no later than on June 8,” the Novye Izvestia daily quoted a source informed about the situation as saying.
If the incumbent Moscow mayor resigns on his own accord within this week, this will give the reasons to the Moscow legislature to set the early mayoral elections on September 8, 2013.
The newspaper also cited the news report of the RBC news agency that the information that the Moscow mayor will resign on June 4 is not reliable. However, the news agency also reported that Sobyanin’s resignation is being discussed, but a final decision is not taken yet.
Oppositionist Alexei Navalny said that he is going to run in the Moscow mayoral elections, if the elections are held in September 2013, “I said it before that the elections in the Moscow City Duma and the mayoral elections are essentially important. Now my position did not change. If the elections are held, I will participate in them, while I have such an opportunity,” he explained.
According to the results of a sociological survey, which the Levada Centre conducted last February, that the Novye Izvestia daily cited, about half of polled Moscow residents believe that Mayor Sergei Sobyanin succeeds to fulfil his duties better that his predecessor Yuri Yuzhkov. In reply to a question of the sociologists whether the situation in urban development and the image of the Russian capital improved, 41% of respondents in Moscow replied that they witness some changes for the better during Sobyanin’s mayoralty. 20% of pollsters also believe that the situation in the traffic, the parking of cars and traffic jams in the streets improved.
The deadline for taking a decision will expire in next few days, the Vedomosti daily noted. For elections to be held on the Common Election Day on September 8, they should be scheduled no later than on June 19, when the common Russian deadline for announcing the voting will expire.
The press service of the mayor did not comment officially on the issue. Sergei Sobyanin stated before that he will probably run in mayoral elections in 2015, but said in an interview with the Vedomosti daily that he finds “inexpedient” mayoral elections in 2014 (when the elections in the Moscow City Duma are to be held). This is two large-scale election campaigns, they should be separated in time, the mayor explained then.
A source of the newspaper in the mayoralty said that Vladimir Putin may meet with Sobyanin on June 5 to discuss the expediency of early elections of the Moscow mayor. The president will take a decision on this issue, he noted.
Meanwhile, several sources close to the Moscow mayoralty told the television channel Dozhd that Vladimir Putin may accept Sergei Sobyanin’s resignation and may appoint him as acting mayor.
One of the main reasons for Sobyanin’s possible decision to run in early mayoral elections may be the concerns over a possible rivalry with Civic Platform leader Mikhail Prokhorov, who is gradually building up his influence and popularity among the Muscovites, a source in the Moscow mayoralty explained. It is a matter of special concerns that former mayor Yuri Luzhkov will support Prokhorov. Yuzhkov is already being talked into the refusal from cooperation with Prokhorov, the source said.
Prokhorov earlier stated that he intends to run in the elections of the deputies in the Moscow City Duma in 2014.