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Daghestani Court Annuls Mayoral Election Results Due To Fraud

(RFE/RL) -- A city court in the southern Daghestani city of Derbent has annulled the results of the October 11 mayoral elections after reports of fraud, RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service reports.

The election was won by incumbent Feliks Kaziakhmedov, who enjoyed the support of Daghestan's leadership and officially won 67 percent of the vote. Kaziakhmedov's main rival was former republican prosecutor Imam Yaraliyev.

Independent observers said the voting was marred by large-scale irregularities, and thousands of Yaraliyev's supporters protested in the streets to demand that the results be declared invalid.

The chairman of Daghestan's Central Election Commission, however, subsequently ruled that the vote was in accordance with the law.

The pro-Kremlin United Russia party that backed Kaziakhmedov said it will abide by the municipal court's decision.

But Daghestani President Mukhu Aliyev told journalists he is convinced the court ruling will be overturned in an appeals court.

Derbent is the republic's second largest city and Azeris make up the majority of the population.