Support The Moscow Times!

Omsk Voters Shun Mayoral Election

Residents of the Siberian city of Omsk cast their votes in an early mayoral election Sunday that showed a remarkably low turnout.

As of 6 p.m., only 15.21 percent of registered voters had taken part in the election, United Russia said on its website. Turnout in the last election, in 2010, was 36.1 percent, and in 2005 — 33.57 percent.

No minimum turnout is required to validate the election, but a higher turnout would give legitimacy to the next mayor.

The low turnout can be partly explained by the summer season, when many residents of the resources-rich region's capital go to their dachas for the weekend.

Seven people were running for the post, including United Russia's Vyacheslav Dvorakovsky, Communist Party candidate Viktor Zharkov, Yan Zelinsky of the Liberal Democratic Party, Just Russia's Irina Averina and Alexander Korotkov, Yabloko's candidate and a former governor of the region.

The other two were independent candidates: Igor Antropov, director of the Mikroklimatservis enterprise, and Sergei Maslenkov, an unemployed man.

Omsk Mayor Viktor Shreider, a United Russia member, resigned earlier this year after he was elected to the State Duma in the December vote.

Moscow-based blogger and photographer Ilya Varlamov also considered campaigning but failed to get enough signatures to register.

United Russia collected less than 40 percent of the Omsk vote in December's Duma elections, one of the lowest among the regions, and less than the Communist Party.

The poor showing led to the ouster of Yeltsin-era Governor Leonid Polezhayev.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.