Moscow: The Kremlin candidate steamrolled to victory on Monday in local polls on the outskirts of Moscow that had been seen by the opposition as a chance to secure a high-profile presence near the seat of Russian power.
The Khimki District vote on the northwestern edge of the capital was one of a slew held Sunday across Russia for the first time since President Vladimir Putin was overwhelmingly swept to power for a third term in March.
The ruling United Russia party that Putin founded and which is now headed by his premier and predecessor Dmitry Medvedev was leading in every race amid sporadic reports of violations by the candidates and observers.
The Khimki election was of particular interest to the opposition because the Moscow suburb was the site of months of protests against the destruction of part of a forest in favour of a new Kremlin-backed road.
The well-organised but at times violent standoffs spawned a new generation of protest leaders who later spearheaded the broader swell of street discontent that rose against Putin last winter.
Environmentalist Yevgenia Chirikova decided to channel her protest experience into a political campaign against the powerful Khimki acting regional head Oleg Shakhov.
But she trailed far behind with 17.6 percent to the Kremlin man's 47.6 percent.
The Khimki result was further marred by a turnout of less than 30 percent and reports of violations from election observers.


Latest News from World News Desk