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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Regional Polls Give Yeltsin Edge

If the nation's gubernatorial elections are nothing more than a scorecard for President Boris Yeltsin and Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, then Yeltsin is winning.

In three of the five elections completed since the presidential poll -- Rostov, Volgoda and Saratov oblasts -- the pro-Moscow sitting governor has been elected.

In the Amur region, meanwhile, incumbent Governor Yury Lyashko lost a still-disputed race to Communist candidate Anatoly Belanogov by a razor-thin margin.

In the northwest, four regions have already elected governors.

Karelia's Victor Stepanov was elected to a four-year term in 1994 and Novgorod's Mikhail Prusak was elected last December. In St. Petersburg, Vladimir Yakovlev defeated incumbent Anatoly Sobchak last June.

In Leningrad Oblast, Vadim Gustov defeated the incumbent Alexander Belyakov with Communist backing, but quickly made it clear that he intends to work with Moscow.

Kaliningrad held the first round of its gubernatorial election Oct. 6. In the second round, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 20, incumbent Yury Matochkin will face Leonid Gorobenko, head of the Kaliningrad fishing port.

By the end of the year, three more northwest regions will hold elections.

In Pskov, a reformist Kremlin appointee, Vladislav Tumanov, will face six opponents Oct. 20. In Murmansk, Yevgeny Kamarov, one of the first governors appointed after the failed 1991 putsch, faces a tough election Nov. 17. And in Arkhangelsk, incumbent Governor Anatoly Yefrimov, appointed by President Yeltsin last March, will face off against the man he replaced, Pavel Balakshkin, and Communist Party candidate Yury Guskov.

Russian law requires that all of Russia's 89 regions and republics be governed by elected executives by the end of this year.

Immediately after the presidential election, there were 52 governor's elections still to be held. Five have since been completed and 47 remain.

a region that gave Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democrats and Zyuganov's Communists strong returns in the State Duma elections,