Sobyanin winner of Moscow mayor race

From the Moscow Times:

Incumbent Mayor Sergei Sobyanin was declared the winner of Moscow’s weekend election on Monday, and he urged opposition candidate Alexei Navalny and his supporters to accept his narrow first-round victory.

With 100 percent of ballots counted, the United Russia party candidate collected 51.37 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election, according to the Moscow elections committee.

His closet rival, opposition leader Alexei Navalny, won 27.24 percent, it said, adding that a second round would not be held because Sobyanin won more than 50 percent.

Sobyanin sought to stave off the specter of large street protests similar to those that Navalny led after disputed State Duma elections in December 2011 and propelled the opposition leader into the political spotlight.

“Muscovites do not need for the city to be turned into a political platform for a struggle for a revolution,” Sobyanin told a meeting of supporters, according to Interfax.

“It is necessary to accept the views of the majority and to work together for the benefit of Moscow,” he said. “It is important not to rock the boat and not to provoke people, because it seems to me that nothing could have been done to conduct a more fair election.”

Navalny, however, was unlikely to heed Sobyanin’s appeal, telling supporters early Monday that he was convinced that he had collected enough votes to force the election into a second round.

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