Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 98

The second round of the election for a new governor of St. Petersburg has been set for May 26 and will pit incumbent Anatoly Sobchak against his own first deputy, Vladimir Yakovlev. Sobchak — and Moscow reformers — put a brave face on the results of the first round, in which Sobchak won 29 percent of the vote and Yakovlev (rumored to have close links with hard-liners in the Moscow elite) won 22 percent. They stressed that the main thing was that the Communist candidate won only 10 percent of the vote, and said this was a good omen for June’s presidential elections. (Interfax, May 20) The St. Petersburg results can also, however, be interpreted as a warning to Boris Yeltsin that there is a strong mood of dissatisfaction in the country with the "party of power" and that this could translate into an anti-incumbent vote not only in St. Petersburg, but in the country as a whole. Yakovlev fought an aggressive, well-financed campaign in which he projected Sobchak as aiming to project St. Petersburg as a cultural center and tourist attraction, whereas Yakovlev promised to advance the interests of ordinary people living and working in the city.

Re-Appointment of Agriculture Minister Gets Mixed Reception.