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Sobchak And Yakovlev Face Run-off Elections In St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, May 20 (RFE/RL) -- The mayor of St. Petersburg, Anatoly Sobchak, will have to face run-off elections against his deputy, Vladimir Yakovlev, after none of the candidates managed to win a majority in yesterday's mayoral elections. The run-off elections are expected to be held on Sunday. According to today's provisional final results, Sobchak won 29 per cent of the vote compared to Yakovlev's approximately 22 per cent. Itar-Tass quotes officials from the election commission as saying more than 49 per cent of the 3.7 million eligible voters took part in the election.

Reform-oriented candidates together won more than 60 per cent of the vote in the city. Analysts say communist party representatives played an insignificant role.

The poll in Russia's second-largest city is seen as an important test of public opinion ahead of the June 16 Russian presidential elections. Sobchak is a close ally of Russian President Boris Yeltsin.