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Russia: Matviyenko Falls Short Of First-Round Victory In St. Petersburg


St. Petersburg, 22 September 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Kremlin-backed candidate Valentina Matviyenko has finished first but fallen short of winning in the first-round vote for the governorship of Russia's second city of St. Petersburg. The electoral commission said Matviyenko, a former Russian deputy prime minister for social affairs, won 48.6 percent of the vote on 21 September. She would have needed 50 percent to win in the first round.

Deputy St. Petersburg governor Anna Markova came in second place, taking almost 16 percent of the vote.

Matviyenko, whose candidacy has been publicly backed by President Vladimir Putin, and Markova are now set to face each other in a second round run-off in two weeks.

Voter turnout was put at nearly 29 percent.

Elsewhere in Russia, Valery Serdyukov was re-elected governor of the Leningrad region, Viktor Kress was re-elected governor of the Tomsk region, and Eduard Rossel was heading for victory in the vote for Sverdlovsk governor.

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