Russia’s Far East region has cancelled the result of a runoff governorship vote in an unprecedented move after claims of vote-rigging in favour of a candidate backed by President Vladimir Putin triggered protests. A local electoral commission took the decision on Thursday after Russia’s election chief Ella Pamfilova on Wednesday recommended re-running the vote. The crisis erupted in the Far Eastern region of Primorsky Krai where an opposition candidate accused a ruling party representative endorsed by Putin of “stealing” his victory in the vote last Sunday.
Communist Party candidate Andrei Ishchenko, 37, seemed poised to become the next governor of Primorsky Krai until the results suddenly changed overnight, allowing his Kremlin-backed rival, Andrei Tarasenko, to claim victory.
Sunday’s vote was a second-round runoff after Tarasenko failed to win at least 50 percent of the vote in the first stage.
Tarasenko accepted the annulment of the vote.