MOSCOW, September 9 (RIA Novosti) – Social activist and opposition candidate Yevgeny Roizman has declared victory in the mayoral election in Russia’s fourth-largest city Yekaterinburg, in a rare upset for the ruling United Russia party.
With 100 percent of the ballots counted, Yekaterinburg’s election committee released preliminary results Monday morning showing Roizman with 33.25 percent of votes leading his main opponent, United Russia’s Yakov Silin, on 29.77 percent.
“According to information from Gorizbirkoma [the city election committee], we’re winning.” Roizman wrote on his LifeJournal blog just after 2 a.m. on Monday morning.
“Thank you, Yekaterinburg!” he added an hour later.
Roizman – a 50-year-old former Duma deputy and anti-drug campaigner – represented Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s Civil Platform party against twelve other candidates, including United Russia’s Yakov Silin.
He has been in the headlines in recent years for his work as the founder of a 14-year-old anti-narcotics organization called City Without Drugs. The organization has been accused of mistreating addicts in its withdrawal program by Russian media reports, but Roizman claims the reports were exaggerated by political rivals.