Putin's thorn threatens protest as incumbent wins Moscow race
MOSCOW — Opposition leader Alexei Navalny swept up far more votes than expected on Sunday but finished second in Moscow's mayoral election, a pivotal contest that has energized Russia's small opposition in ways that could pose a risk to the Kremlin in the days and years ahead.
Even so, Navalny said he suspected that the vote count was inflated for the Kremlin-backed incumbent, and he threatened to call his supporters out onto the streets to protest on Monday if concerns were not addressed.
Nearly complete results released early on Monday showed Navalny with more than 27 percent of the vote and incumbent Sergei Sobyanin with a clear lead of 51 percent, just enough to avoid a runoff. Exit polls predicted Navalny would get as much as 32 percent.
As the results began to trickle in two hours after the polls closed, Navalny said he suspected the vote count was being manipulated.
“We don't recognize the results that are currently being announced, and I would like to say that we won't give up one vote that we received,” Navalny told reporters at his campaign headquarters.
The election was being watched for what it bodes for the future of the opposition and for Navalny. He's been convicted of embezzlement in a case considered part of a Kremlin effort to sideline him, but his strong showing could lead to a shortening of his five-year sentence if the Kremlin feels it would defuse discontent.
Navalny's campaign said its own exit polls showed Sobyanin below 50 percent. A separate vote count by observers cast doubt on Sobyanin's clear majority.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Putin sends air defense missiles to Syria to deter Turkey
- Russian pilot rescued by Syrian commando unit
- Liberia has 1st Ebola death since being deemed free of disease in September
- Turkey shoots down Russian jet it says violated its airspace
- Tunisia put under state of emergency
- Official: Paris attacks organizer was planning more carnage
- ISIS claims hotel attack in Egypt
- At least 20 killed after jihadists attack Malian hotel
- Social media drives Cuban exodus to United States
- Italian journalists’ books broaden Vatican scandal of greed, corruption
- Pakistani doctor who led CIA to bin Laden stuck in prison