Gubernatorial elections took place yesterday in Russia’s second city, St. Petersburg. Preliminary results indicate that the incumbent, Anatoly Sobchak, failed to win an outright majority and that a runoff election will have to be held at the beginning of June. Sobchak won just under 30 percent of the votes, while the man who until now has served as his deputy, Vladimir Yakovlev, won just over 20 percent. The prominent democrat Yuri Boldyrev was in third place. There is bad blood between Sobchak and Yakovlev, who has close connections with Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov and other members of Yeltsin’s inner circle. Sobchak had predicted that the election would be a "dress rehearsal" for the June presidential election. (BBC, May 19)
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