Some 500 people demonstrated in downtown Vladivostok on September 29 to demand the reinstatement of the mayor of the city, Viktor Cherepkov. Cherepkov, who has long been at loggerheads with regional governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko, was suspended from his post by the Primorsky krai Duma while on a foreign business trip last week. The Duma said it was replacing the popularly elected Cherepkov because of the serious social and economic problems faced by the city, which is in the grip of a protracted energy crisis.
The legislature’s own credentials are open to question, however. The Duma, which is packed with Nazdratenko’s supporters, has postponed elections and extended its mandate beyond the legally appointed time. The demonstrators called not only for Cherepkov’s reinstatement but also for the Duma’s resignation and the holding of fresh elections. (Radio Russia, September 29)
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