Pro-Putin party suffers new setback in polls

Last Updated: Monday, April 2, 2012 - 21:30

Moscow: President-elect Vladimir Putin
suffered a tough political blow on Monday after seeing his party`s
candidate trounced in a mayoral race that became the focus of
Russia`s nascent protest movement.

Official results from the central city of Yaroslavl
showed ruling United Russia party candidate Yakov Yakushev
picking up just 27.8 per cent of the vote in a runoff
yesterday against local independent rival Yevgeny Urlashov.

Moscow: President-elect Vladimir Putin
suffered a tough political blow on Monday after seeing his party`s
candidate trounced in a mayoral race that became the focus of
Russia`s nascent protest movement.

Official results from the central city of Yaroslavl
showed ruling United Russia party candidate Yakov Yakushev
picking up just 27.8 per cent of the vote in a runoff
yesterday against local independent rival Yevgeny Urlashov.

The anti-Putin movement claimed Moscow as its biggest
success when the capital became the only region of Russia in
which the ex-KGB spy failed to pick up 50 per cent of the
vote.

Putin still secured a crushing win with nearly 64 percent
of the national vote -- a sign that voter anger at the
corruption and political mismanagement of the ruling elite has
left Putin himself largely untouched.

The scale of his victory also took away much of the
momentum from the record protests that emerged in response to
fraud-tainted December parliamentary polls narrowly won by
United Russia.

But the street movement`s leaders said Putin would have
fared much worse had his election been watched as closely
across the nation as it had been in Moscow.

They have since vowed to changed their tactics and make
election monitoring one of their focal points as they seek to
reverse more than a decade of the Kremlin`s stifling
domination over politics.

"Urlashov`s victory is our victory," the unregistered
Solidarity movement of former cabinet minister Boris Nemtsov
and retired chess king Garry Kasparov wrote on Twitter.

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 2, 2012 - 21:30

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