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Russian Opposition Candidate Elected As Regional Governor

Russian opposition politician Sergei Levchenko has been elected as the governor of Siberia's Irkutsk region.

Levchenko, a Communist member of the State Duma lower house of parliament in Moscow, won 56.9 percent of the vote.

He defeated the incumbent, Sergei Yeroshenko, from United Russia, President Vladimir Putin's party.

Levchenko becomes the first politician from a minor opposition party to win a vote for regional governor since the Kremlin restored such elections in 2012.

The positions of governor of Russia's 85 regions are seen as among the most powerful in the country.

From 2005 until 2012 they were appointed by the Kremlin and since then United Russia candidates or Kremlin supporters have won all elections.

Candidates from United Russia or other candidates loyal to Putin swept the board in local elections earlier in September, a precursor to nationwide parliamentary elections next year.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax

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