Early mayor elections in Moscow region marred by detentions
MOSCOW, April 1 - RAPSI. Sixteen people were arrested in the town of Zhukovsky, southeast of Moscow, during the mayoral election on Sunday, the regional interior department said.
“Police received 45 complaints about various offenses. In total, 16 people were detained, 12 of them are suspected of illegal actions during the polls. All of them have already been released, but all complaints are currently being probed,” the source said. Chairman of the Moscow Region Election Commission Irek Vildanov said there were few violations and there was no reason to invalidate the results.
Early elections were announced in Zhukovsky, home to Russia's testing and design centers for aircraft, after its previous mayor, Alexander Bobovnikov, resigned in January. The regions government said that the loss of citizens' trust and instable political situation in the region could be among possible reasons for his resignation.
The town of about 100,000, which has been chosen as the site for a planned national center of the aviation industry, has seen frequent protests in the past months, including against cutting down trees in a local forest and against alleged violations during the previous mayoral elections.Eleven candidates ran for mayor of Zhukovsky on Sunday, while around 1,000 observers monitored the procedure. The voter turnout was 37.6%.