St. Petersburg, 30 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The incumbent governor of Russia's Leningrad Oblast, Aleksandr Belyakov, today conceded defeat in local gubernatorial elections to challenger Vadim Gustov, the former speaker of the Leningrad Oblast Soviet.
At a news conference early this morning, Belyakov said, "My defeat should not be treated as a tragedy."
Our St. Petersburg correspondent reports the preliminary results from yesterday's poll show Gustov with about 53 percent of the vote, and Belyakov with about 32 percent.
The Leningrad Oblast is a separate administrative territory surrounding St. Petersburg. Yesterday's polls mark the region's first democratic gubernatorial election.