Large Number of Complaints Over Election Results In Yekaterinburg

September 9, 2013
Vladislav Lonshakov / Kommersant

While the focus is on Moscow, for many obvious reasons, we’ll also be trying to look at election results from across Russia in order to get a sense of the larger trends in Russia’s electoral process.

This is a report about a heated and contested mayoral election in Yekaterinburg (sometimes written as “Ekaterinburg,” map), the 4th largest city in Russia and the provincial capital of  Sverdlovsk Oblast.

If you are not familiar with some of the rules of Moscow’s elections, it is worth seeing another article we’ve published today, What to Do on September 8: How votes are counted, and how they are supposed to be counted. 

For more about the dynamic between “Civil Platform” and “United Russia” read As United Russia Takes On Water, Russia’s Elite Jump Ship. – Ed.

According to preliminary data, Evgeny Roizman of “Civil Platform” leads in the elections of Yekaterinburg Mayor. His rival Jacov Silin is trailing by a few percent.

Evgeny Roizman is leading the mayoral race in Yekaterinburg. These are the latest numbers by CEC. According to preliminary information, the candidate of the “Civil Platform” and the head of the fund “City Without Drugs” scored 32% of the vote. The “United Russia” candidate, Yakov Silin, scored almost 30%. Just a few hours ago, about 2 am, Moscow time, Silin was the leader, but two hours later he lost to Roizman. The intense struggle between Roizman and Silin, who is the vice-governor of the Sverdlovsk region, was expected, says Vladimir Slatinov, an expert from the Institute of Humanitarian and Political Research.

“Mr. Roizman is one of the main political opponents of the governor. Participation of Mr Roizman and his victory, hypothetically, of course, could inflict a severe blow on the political positions of Mr. Kuyvashev. Already in the course of the election campaign, we saw the most powerful pressure on Mr Roizman. We saw a strong information campaign against this candidate. And finally, the culmination of all this was the election, and the number of claims regarding irregularities is extremely high,” he said.

Dozens of people also tried to vote by absentee ballots, the issuance of which district election commissions deemed invalid. This is according to Yuri Gurman, co-chairman of the “The Voice” movement.

“During the day we were subjected to DDoS-attacks [Denial of Service attacks -Ed.], the irregularities may have crashed it. But what was reported on the hotline, received by our other operational information channels, such violations as “carousel” voting, direct bribery — they also banned photos, video recording, and tried to obstruct observers,” he said.

At the same time, according to the electoral commission for the City of Yekaterinburg, only a small number of violation reports were received. However, most of them were found to be unsubstantiated. Meanwhile, Evgeny Roizman said that if he wins, he will “try to get it all sorted out, to learn, to work.” Roizman is unlikely to be able to cope with the duties of the mayor properly, says Alexander Tsipko, a political analyst.

“This is a serious problem, we do not take into account the specifics of Russia when we talk about ‘alternative elections.’ But death is not an alternative to life. It should be understood that an alternative election is an alternative to people who know the city, know how it is organized, who can offer something. So, of course, Roizman have this wealth of experience helping people who suffer from drug abuse. But does he know much about culture, about economy? Probably not,” he said.

12 candidates competed for the post of the Mayor of Yekaterinburg. According to the municipal election commission, voter turnout was over 30%.