On June 4, Sergei Sobyanin, the Mayor of Moscow, announced his resignation. He will be running for office at early mayoral elections that will be held in September
According to Sobyanin, the majority of the capital’s residents support the idea of holding early mayoral elections concurrently with elections for the governor of the Moscow Region (set for September 8).
Alexei Navalny, an opposition activist, Sergei Mitrokhin, the leader of the Yabloko party, and Sergei Troitsky, a musician, have already announced their plans to run for Mayor. Other candidates include Mikhail Prokhorov, the leader of the Civic Platform, and Oleg Mitvol, one of the Green Alliance leaders.
The main point of suspense in relation to the September elections could be the participation by Alexei Navalny, the main defendant in the “Kirovles Case”. If the Leninsky District Court for the City of Kirov finds him guilty, the opposition candidate will be able to run only until the court’s decision comes into effect.
“By law, a court decision can be appealed within 10 days. In this case an appeal committee is formed. Under normal circumstances courts are normally in no hurry, but when it comes to some high-profile cases they might expedite the process,” lawyer Vadim Prokhorov explained. “When Mikhail Khodorkovsky was on trial, the district court returned a verdict in May. In the fall, while the verdict was on appeal, local elections were held in one of the Moscow districts, and they put Khodorkovsky’s name on the ballot. However, he was never registered as a candidate, because the verdict came into force in October. They rushed the whole thing, just to make sure he did not run.”