ST. PETERSBURG, March 13 (RFE/RL) - Russia's
presidential representative in St. Petersburg says that a city
gubernatorial election law passed by the city's Legislative Assembly
and signed by Mayor Anatoly Sobchak last week conflicts with Russian
The representative, Sergei Tsyplyaev, said that the Russian
Constitutional Court has not decided whether local authorities may
set dates for local elections. He said that any results of a St.
Petersburg gubernatorial election, scheduled according to the new law
for June 16, could therefore be challenged in court.
Our correspondent in St. Petersburg reports today that the
presidential representative is urging city and federal authorities to
find a compromise solution. President Boris Yeltsin opposes St.
Petersburg's plan to hold mayoral elections concurrent with the June
16 national presidential election.
Victor Novoselov, a deputy of the city's Legislative Assembly, last
week defended the proposed timing of the local election. He said that
an election is needed before the end of Sobchak's term in June. The
new law says that the successor to Mayor Sobchak will be known as St
Petersburg's governor, a title that suggests greater executive
authority. St. Petersburg is Russia's second largest city.