The government-supported candidate, Boris Govorin, was elected yesterday as governor of Irkutsk oblast in east-central Siberia. Govorin, presently mayor of the city of Irkutsk, won between 40 and 50 percent of the vote, according to initial results. He defeated the local Communist Party leader, Sergei Levchenko, who won between 25 and 30 percent. Turnout was 42 percent. (AP, July 28)
The result means that Communist candidates have lost all three of the high-profile regional elections held in Russia recently — in Nizhny Novgorod and Samara two weeks ago, and now in Irkutsk.
The Irkutsk campaign was distinguished by the mass of scandalous allegations leveled against the leading candidates. The candidate supported by Aleksandr Lebed’s party, coal mine director Ivan Schadov, trailed far behind the other candidates in the vote. He was clearly damaged by revelations that he had been convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl and that his two sons are involved in criminal proceedings. After the regional police chief appeared on local TV to confirm the allegations, the police chief’s house was burnt down. At least 50 people have been detained by police for breaking various canvassing rules, including the tearing down of all Govorin’s posters. (Itar-Tass, NTV, July 25)
Yeltsin Vetoes Land Code; Approves First Production-Sharing Sites.