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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kopylov Wins in Vladivostok




Amid allegations of voting fraud, Vladivostok acting Mayor Yury Kopylov swept to victory in the mayoral election, winning 55 percent of the vote, Interfax reported Monday.


Kopylov, an appointee of Primorye region Governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko, ran against eight other candidates. His primary opponent, Viktor Cherepkov, the former Vladivostok mayor who is now a State Duma deputy, got 25 percent of the vote.


Cherepkov claimed that some of the voters who came to the polls Sunday complained that their ballots had been cast for them in their absence, Interfax reported Monday. And during early voting in recent weeks, Kopylov's critics accused City Hall of busing people dependent on the city f factory employees, housing maintenance workers, hospital staff and even prisoners f to polling stations and urging them to vote for the acting mayor.


All in all, 175,000, or 38 percent, of the city's 467,000 eligible voters participated in the election, Interfax said.


Kopylov has been acting head of City Hall since 1998, when he was appointed by Nazdratenko to replace Cherepkov, whose five-year term in office had expired. The 1998 elections were deemed void because more than 50 percent of Vladivostok's electorate voted against all candidates.


The mayoral elections were subsequently annulled twice, in January 1999 and December 1999, because of campaign violations found by the regional court, which is allied with Nazdratenko, a strongman governor.


The Vladivostok Duma elections, which were also held Sunday, were considered void because turnout failed to cross the 25 percent barrier. It is the 17th time in the past several years that City Duma elections have been deemed void or canceled.