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Residents in the Russian Far Eastern city of Vladivostok are voting
Residents in the Russian Far Eastern city of Vladivostok are voting on Sunday in early mayoral elections, with four candidates running for the post, the city's electoral commission said.

The early mayoral elections in the Russian Far Eastern city were scheduled for May 18 after a Vladivostok court handed former mayor Vladimir Nikolayev a four and a half year suspended sentence for abuse of office. The court also ruled that Nikolayev could not occupy any top administrative posts for the next three years.

Four candidates are running for the mayoral post, including senator Igor Pushkaryov from the ruling United Russia party and Gennady Turmov from the Communist Party. Businessman Sergei Tatarnikov and Vladimir Gilgenberg, former deputy of the regional parliament, are running as independent candidates.

The winner must gain more than 50% of the votes to become Vladivostok mayor.

Earlier in May, police in the Russian Far Eastern Territory of Primorye conducted a search of the house of the regional governor, Sergei Darkin, in connection with a criminal investigation into the illegal privatization of state property in Vladivostok, the region's administrative center, at below-market prices. In total, the federal budget is said to have lost over 1.5 billion rubles ($64 million).


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