Acting Moscow Mayor Sobyanin vows to ensure as honest elections as possible

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 23, 2013) Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin running for reelection has reaffirmed his intention to do all he can to ensure that the mayoral elections scheduled for September 8 be truly honest.

“We don’t need a victory at all costs. We need honest elections, I mean really honest elections,” Sobyanin said at a meeting with members of his campaign staff on Tuesday.

Moscow is seeing a full-fledged mayoral election campaign, which was announced 90 days prior to the election day, Sobyanin said. “We have opted for the maximum possible timeframe, although we could have gone for the minimum possible one if we had announced the elections a week ago, that is, 65 days before. We haven’t done so,” he said.

The city also decided not to arrange collective delivery of staffers of organizations to polling stations and minimize the number of absentee ballots, Sobyanin said. “I believe this is right, even though this creates inconveniences, but this reduces other problems that cause a lot of questions,” he said.

As Sobyanin pointed out, some candidates had problems with collecting the necessary number of votes from municipal lawmakers to secure their nomination until the Moscow city hall facilitated this process. “We have done all we could so that the Muscovites have the broadest possible choice, and we have quite a significant number of prominent candidates now,” he said.

“We are running with a realistic and understandable program, and we are trying to ensure as honest elections as possible,” he said.

Sobyanin insisted that his team has “a coherent action program, which is being implemented.”

“There is not a single farfetched idea included in the program but only realistic things, from transport to social support,” he said.