United Russia's Klein Voted Mayor of Tomsk

Tomsk Beer CEO Ivan Klein, pictured speaking at a company event, was elected under the United Russia banner.

United Russia member Ivan Klein was elected mayor of the Siberian city of Tomsk on Sunday with 62 percent of the vote, easily defeating billionaire Gleb Fetisov in an election notable for its nominal voter turnout of 21 percent and an overall lack of surprises.

Local analysts had pegged Klein as a clear favorite to win the election after he swept the United Russia primaries with 92 percent of the vote in August.

Klein promised Monday to leave his post as CEO of Tomsk Beer and give up his 51 percent share in the company within five days, as required by law, RIA Novosti reported Monday.

His inauguration is set to take place on Oct. 17.

Previous mayor Nikolai Nikolaichuk stepped down from the post in July, cutting short his elected 5-year term following months of heated conflict with Tomsk region Governor Sergei Zhvachkin.

Zhvachkin, an open supporter of Klein, called the new governor the "absolute winner of the election" on Monday but stressed that he had supported the candidate with nothing more than his personal vote.

"I kept my word to the citizens of Tomsk, the local authorities used no pressure and no administrative resources in this election campaign," the governor said through his spokesman.

Nearly 50 legal experts observed the election and found no major violations.

In a field of eight candidates only two others took home more than 5 percent of the vote — A Just Russia candidate Vladimir Kazakov and billionaire Gleb Fetisov from the Green Alliance — People's Party.

Kazakov and Fetisov garnered 14 percent and 11 percent of the vote, respectively, the region's Elections Commission said in a statement on its website.

Last week, Fetisov told Kommersant that he was surprised by the lack of energy and genuine debate throughout the campaign.

"It's a depressing sight, as if the fight is not for the future of Tomsk, but for the post of head of some small municipal area," Fetisov said.

Contact the author at d.damore@imedia.ru

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