In the central Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Victory Day celebrations broke up in chaos when the two candidates for the post of governor — incumbent Valery Zubov and challenger Aleksandr Lebed — both tried hijack the parade. The run-off of Krasnoyarsk’s gubernatorial election is set for May 17.
Taking advantage of the fact that he is still acting governor of the region, Zubov set off confidently at the head of the veterans’ parade. Lebed, who arrived late, appeared unexpectedly in the midst of the rally and managed to cut the march in two. While Zubov was laying flowers on the war memorial, Lebed seized the only microphone and started a speech. He ignored calls from the police not to turn the celebrations into an election rally. Rival supporters of the two candidates broke into argument and the march disintegrated. (RTR, May 9)
Last week, the election authorities in Krasnoyarsk warned both Zubov and Lebed to reduce the invective in their electioneering. Lebed’s supporters were warned in connection with unspecified violations of electoral regulations regarding leafleting. Zubov was reprimanded for alleging that, if elected, Lebed will redistribute private property. (RTR, May 8) There is speculation that the reprimands were issued with an eye to establishing a pretext for annulling the election should Lebed win on May 17. A similar ruse was used recently in a mayoral election in Kemerovo Oblast. Federal election official Aleksandr Ivanchenko, who heads the Central Elections Commission, has already announced that serious legal violations have occurred during the campaign in Krasnoyarsk. (Rossiiskaya gazeta, May 5)
MASKHADOV CONGRATULATES ALIEV ON HIS BIRTHDAY.