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Moscow Journalists Pay Tribute to Sobyanin for 'Most Fair' Mayoral Election

The Moscow Union of Journalists on Tuesday presented Mayor Sergei Sobyanin with a certificate to congratulate him on the "fairness" of the mayoral election that was held in the city in September, the union's chairman said.

The union unanimously decided to reward Sobyanin "for a most fair election and for an election" that the mayor "like a big boss and politician, managed to organized in Moscow," chairman Pavel Gusev said at the union's award ceremony for work in the field of journalism last year, RBK reported.

He added that the election was significant not only for Moscow, but that it could change the situation in Russia as a whole, likely referring to elections in Russia, which many observers accuse of being susceptible to fraud and lacking in transparency.

Sobyanin was appointed mayor in 2010, but stepped down from the role in June 2013, becoming acting mayor instead, to trigger September's snap election.

Backed by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, Sobyanin won the mayoral election with 51.37 percent of the vote. His nearest challenger was opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who garnered 27.24 percent.

After the election Navalny filed lawsuits at several Moscow courts to have the results scrubbed.

His team said that the results were illegitimate due to numerous violations, namely unequal access to media outlets for different candidates, irregularities in home voting, and the buying of votes with gifts paid for with city money.

The courts rejected Navalny's lawsuits, however. See related article here.

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