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Mayor Critical of Mayoral Reform Bills

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin suggested easing requirements for mayoral candidates contained in two bills before the City Duma after opposition politicians complained that the laws would leave them little chance to mount campaigns.

Sobyanin said self-declared nominees should be allowed to run in mayoral elections and that the requirement for candidates to collect signatures from 10 percent of municipal deputies or district heads should be cut to 6 percent.

"The mayor's post is 99 percent not political but administrative. Therefore … it would be … right to allow self-nominees to run," Sobyanin told the City Duma on Thursday, Interfax reported.

Reducing the amount of signatures that candidates must collect would make elections "as accessible and transparent as possible," he said.

A key second reading of the bills could come as early as June 13.

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