St. Petersburg, April 22 (RFE/RL) - A St Petersburg city court has overturned a local electoral law
requirement that any gubernatorial candidate must have held a
St Petersburg residence permit for one year prior to the May election.
The ruling clears the way for former national Federation Council
Deputy Yuri Boldyrev to seek the city governorship. Boldyrev had
lived in Moscow for the last two years while serving as the city's
representative in the upper house of the Russian Parliament. A court
ruling earlier had authorized Boldyrev to begin gathering the 45,000
signatures necessary a candidate needs to qualify for the ballot.
Legislative Assembly Deputy Alexei Kovalyov said that Boldyrev now
can meet residency requirements by registering his parents'
St Petersburg address as his local residence. Deadline for submitting
signatures to the local electoral commission is 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The position of top city executive has been renamed governor instead of mayor to indicate the wide responsiblities that go with governing Russia's second-largest city.
Communist candidate Yuri Sevenard has become the second official
candidate for St Petersburg's gubernatorial elections. He submitted 56,000 signatures last week. Sevenard ran for the post in 1991, but lost to the current mayor, Anatoly Sobchak, who also is a candidate.
Candidates besides Sobchak, Sevenard and Boldyrev expected to
register are former Federation Council Deputy Alexander Belyaev,
Deputy Mayor Vladimir Yakovlev (who has taken a leave of absence for
the election), former Deputy Mayor Vyacheslav Shcherbakov, and Legislative Assembly Deputy Igor Artyemev. Leningrad Oblast Governor Alexander Belyakov also is considered a potential candidate.