Opposition Leader: Recount Moscow Mayoral Vote
Alexei Navalny nearly forced runoff with incumbent
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 9, 2013 8:32 AM CDT
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks to the press outside of his headquarters in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

(Newser) – With 51% of the vote, Moscow's incumbent mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, appears to have just managed an election victory. But Russian opposition leader (and The Wire fan) Alexei Navalny, who received 27% of the tally—impressive for an opposition figure—wants a recount. If Sobyanin received less than 50% of the vote, the two would face a runoff, the AP reports. "We don't recognize the results that have been announced. They are rigged," Navalny blogged. Combined election data from various monitors suggests Sobyanin got just 49.5% of the vote.

Backers of the opposition leader, whose embezzlement conviction this summer was called "politically motivated" by the White House, are planning a protest. Navalny, however, says he doesn't want to cause turmoil and is seeking talks with the incumbent, the AP notes. Still, he tweeted, "If the mayor’s office and Kremlin ignore the people’s demands, then we will call everyone out onto the streets." Russia's top election-monitoring organization, Golos, raised concerns about officials adding fake voters to the rolls. "Either they manipulate something somehow, but then they could be caught and won’t be able to sleep soundly," says a co-chair, per Time, "or they could let it be a real election and allow a second round."