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Russia: Elections Invalid In St. Petersburg

By Laurie Belin

St. Petersburg, 30 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - Our correspondent reports today that despite an extension of the voting period, St. Petersburg municipal elections will be declared invalid in most districts because of low turnout.

Governor Vladimir Yakovlev on Sunday ordered that the elections be extended for one day in 90 districts after it became apparent that turnout in those districts would fall far short of the 25 percent required for valid elections. But few additional voters turned out yesterday.

Itar-Tass reports that in the end, citywide turnout was 17 percent, and turnout was high enough to elect a representative in only 33 of the city's districts. Repeat elections are likely to be held in three months. Yakovlev has warned that those elections will cost the St. Petersburg budget some 15 billion rubles ($2.6 million).