Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why Putin Cannot Afford Runoffs: Navalny and the Moscow Election

As Vladimir Putin was running circles around Barack Obama,  opposition mayoral candidate Navalny was giving Putin’s Kremlin a lessen in American retail politics. Putin won big on Syria but lost big in the Moscow mayor’s race, whose outcome may change Russian politics in the long run.

In the September 8 Moscow mayoral election, incumbent, Sergei Sobyanian, narrowly avoided a run off with 51.2 percent of the votes. Challenger, lawyer, anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, officially received 17.2 percent. The Moscow Electoral Commission subsequently declared Sobyanian the victor. Navalny continues to challenge the vote in the courts with truckloads of evidence of voter fraud. Navalny has a snowball’s chance in hell of reversing the outcome in Russia’s courts.


  1. There are even a more interesting election than the recent one in Russia:

    BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Something funny happened the day before Azerbaijan's presidential election: The election commission announced the winner.

    On Tuesday, a day before the voting began, the smartphone app of the Central Election Commission released results showing President Ilham Aliyev, whose family has been at the helm of the Caspian Sea nation for four decades, winning 73 percent of the vote.