YAROSLAVL, April 2 (RIA Novosti)
Yevgeny Urlashov, an independent candidate, won Sunday's mayoral election in the city of Yaroslavl, a representative of the regional Election Commission said on Monday.
With 100 percent of ballots counted, Urlashov had 69.65 percent of the vote, according to prelminary data. His opponent, Yaroslavl legislator Yakov Yakushev, received 27.78 percent.
The results of the election may be appealed if the police determine that spending on advertising by the winning candidate exceeds the legal limit by 10 percent or more, the head of the regional electoral office, Andrei Buryanovaty, said.
The turnout in the capital of Yaroslavl region, a city of of 590,000 located 260 kilometers northeast from Moscow, was just over 40 percent.
City police confirmed some 89 reports of violations at 269 polling stations, particularly attempted bribery during the elections. A police spokesman said all reports were being investigated. More than 1,000 activists, many from outside Yaroslavl, worked as vote monitors at the Sunday elections.
The local branch of the Communist Party, which backed Urlashov along with Yabloko, A Just Russia and Patriots of Russia parties, posted on its website a set of videos allegedly documenting open vote-buying.
Yakushev, who is acting mayor of Yaroslavl, called for canceling the elections over the violations, Vesti FM state radio said.
Both candidates were members of the ruling United Russia party, but Urlashov quit the party following the plane crash in Yaroslavl in September that wiped out the city’s star ice hockey team, Lokomotiv. Urlashov said he disagreed with the findings of the official investigation into the plane crash, which blamed the incident on the pilots.
The ruling United Russia party won 29 percent of the vote in Yaroslavl region at the parliamentary elections in December, the party’s worst showing among all 83 regions and far below its national average of 49 percent.
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