Russia: Moscow mayoral hopefuls prepare for election

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Russia: Moscow mayoral hopefuls prepare for election

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Not far from the Kremlin, sit the offices of Moscow’s mayor. The position is up for grabs in the upcoming elections on September 8, after the current mayor nominated to the post resigned in June, only to announce he would be a candidate for his own job.

Out of the six hopefuls, there are two who are making the news. In the lead is outgoing mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

A close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, most analysts expect him to win. Biting at his heels is lawyer, blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny.

Running with the campaign motto “Change Russia, Start With Moscow”, he has already shaved 10 percentage points off Sobyanin’s lead.

Navalny was allowed to run despite facing charges of embezzlement, which his supporters say were trumped up. Some say his candidacy was permitted to add legitimacy to what is effectively a one horse race.