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Ingush Leader Resigns With a View to Re-election Bid

The president of the republic of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, has resigned in a bid to seek re-election to the post in autumn.

Yevkurov, whose term was due to expire in October, asked President Vladimir Putin Thursday to approve his early resignation at a meeting in Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow. Putin supported the move and appointed him the republic's acting head.

Ingushetia is one of the regions that waived direct gubernatorial elections, re-introduced last year, and opted in favor of a parliamentary vote instead. Deputy Central Election Committee chief Leonid Ivlev said that the republic's parliament may gather on September 8 to choose a governor from a list of three candidates approved by the president.

The chairman of Ingushetia's legislature, Mukharbek Didigov, has already pledged support to Yevkurov.

Yevkurov, who has headed Ingushetia since October 2008, has followed the example of acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin in vacating his post early and seeking re-election. Sobyanin, appointed in 2010 by then-President Dmitry Medvedev, announced his resignation in early June, paving the way for the Russian capital's first popular vote for the position in a decade.

Sobyanin's term was due to end in 2015, and critics believe that the September 8 election date — right after the summer holidays — would give the incumbent an unfair advantage since other candidates would have very little time to campaign.

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