Environmentalist Chirikova Registered as Khimki Mayor Candidate

Environmental activist Yevgenia Chirikova, a consensus nominee of the Russian opposition, has officially been registered as a candidate for mayor of the Moscow satellite city of Khimki, an election commission spokesman said on Sunday.

“Chirikova was officially registered today… now her election participation can only be challenged in court,” said Irek Vildanov, a spokesman for the Moscow Region Election Commission.

The Khimki elections were called after former mayor Vladimir Strelchenko quit his post on August 14.

Chirikova, 35, played a leading role in the organization of the unprecedented protests against President Vladimir Putin that broke out late last year and her candidacy comes as the opposition seeks to promote a united front at regional elections. She has been Russia’s most high-profile environmental activist since she spearheaded a campaign to save Khimki forestland that stood in the path of a planned Moscow-St. Petersburg highway.

The construction of the $8-billion highway was suspended by order of then President Dmitry Medvedev in August 2010, but has since resumed.

The elections are expected to take place on October 14, in a day of nationwide voting for regional authorities that have been targeted by the anti-Putin opposition as a crucial stage in their bid to dislodge the former KGB officer from power.

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