04 Apr 2012

Anti-Corruption Candidate Wins Mayoral Election in Russia

Yevgeny Urlashov (pictured here), considered as an anti-corruption crusader, has been elected mayor of Yaroslavl, a large city located about 250 kilometers from Moscow, with 70% of the votes last Sunday. The victory by a large margin against the incumbent mayor, from Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, was seen as an important boost for the country’s opposition.

Mr. Urlashov is a lawyer and was a member of Yaroslavl’s municipal council. In his campaign, he pledged to fight corruption through increased public control over municipal spending and reduced red tape in the local administration. He managed to win the election despite strongly biased media coverage in favor of his opponent and by intimidation strategies used by authorities against him.

The election of Mr. Urlashov has been highlighted by opposition leaders as a signal of their strength and the effectiveness of their mobilization strategy. Their focus on getting supporters to monitor local elections is likely to be continued after this positive outcome.

For more details read the article “Anti-corruption crusader wins Russian mayoral election in victory for opposition” on washingtonpost.com. The picture featured above is from guardian.co.uk and is credited to Denis Sinyakov/Reuters.