Arkhangelsk Mayor Narrowly Wins Recount

Acting Arkhangelsk Mayor Viktor Pavlenko was narrowly elected mayor of the northern city after a recount in last week's ballot that originally indicated his opponent had won.

Pavlenko, 46, defeated entrepreneur Larisa Bazanova by just 154 votes following the recount in the May 25 election, which saw a mere 18.22 percent turnout, Arkhangelsk City Hall said in a statement late Thursday.

Pavlenko captured 37.47 percent of the vote, while Bazanova received 37.43 percent.

Preliminary results showed Bazanova had defeated Pavlenko by 70 votes, but the city's election commission called for a recount after Pavlenko complained of violations at some polling stations, Interfax reported Friday.

Pavlenko had replaced Alexander Donskoi, who was convicted in March of abuse of office and handed a three-year suspended sentence in a case he called politically motivated.

Donskoi called the legal attack punishment for his 2006 announcement that he would run for president. He was elected mayor in 2005 but resigned in early March while awaiting trial.

He had supported Bazanova in the race, Novaya Gazeta reported last week.

Bazanova said she plans appeal to the courts, the Prosecutor General's Office and the Central Elections Commission to challenge the final tally, Gazeta.ru reported Friday.

Pavlenko had served as Donskoi's first deputy before being appointed acting mayor in March.