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Russia’s Last Opposition Mayor Quits

Aleksandr Scherbak / TASS

The last opposition mayor of a major Russian city has resigned in protest of a local lawmakers' decision to abolish direct mayoral elections.

The legislative assembly of the Sverdlovsk region voted last month to scrap mayoral elections in the regional capital of Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city, despite city-wide protests. Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman, an outspoken politician highly critical of Russia's ruling party, had held the post since his election in 2013.

“The situation forced me to resign,” Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman told The Moscow Times after announcing his resignation at a municipal administration meeting on Tuesday.

“I refused to add the item [to amend the election statute] to the meeting’s agenda,” he said, adding that he had been elected by the city’s citizens and was representing their interests.

The state-run RIA Novosti news agency later cited Roizman as saying that he plans to continue his political career.

“You can have no doubt that I’ll be in demand,” Roizman said.

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