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Kremlin Permitted Navalny's Participation in Mayoral Election - Moscow Mayor
21.10.2013 11:51
Kremlin Permitted Navalny's Participation in Mayoral Election - Moscow Mayor

In his latest interview to Russian newspaper, newly-elected Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, the Kremlin-backed politician, has admitted he consulted with Russian President about what role his rival, opposition leader Alexei Navalny, should play in the mayoral election.

      “Yes, of course,” Sobyanin answered, when asked by a journalist from Kommersant Vlast newspaper if he had consulted Putin and the Kremlin’s first deputy head of administration Vyacheslav Volodin about Navalny’s candidacy for mayor.

      “I considered that Navalny should take part in the election and their attitude to it was positive,” he said. “I did not sense that there was any other position.”

      Sobyanin’s comments are the first on the record confirmation that he discussed the issue with Putin before the poll, although there had been widespread speculation in the media that he had. Such rumours were based on Navalny's sudden release from a jail on July 18, a day after his sentencing to five years in prison for embezzlement at the request of the federal Prosecutor General’s Office. However, the Kremlin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had played no role in Navalny’s release.

      Sobyanin won the September poll with 51.37 percent of the vote, as was widely expected, but Navalny, one of the Russian opposition’s main leaders, gained a surprise 27.24 percent, well up on what opinion polls had suggested he would gain.

Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Sergey Sobyanin Alexey Navalny elections in Russia Russian politics  

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