Russian Opposition Agrees on Candidate for Kaliningrad Mayor

Representatives of 15 Russian opposition parties and movements have agreed to back Yury Galanin of the Communist Party as their candidate for mayor of the Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, Sergei Udaltsov, an opposition leader, said on Monday.

Mayoral elections will take place in Kaliningrad on October 14.

The decision to support Galanin as the candidate from the opposition was reached during a representative meeting of opposition organizations in Kaliningrad on Sunday, the Left Front movement leader told RIA Novosti.

“Most of the organizations present at the meeting signed an agreement to support Communist Party candidate Yury Galanin, who we believe has the best chances to win the mayoral elections,” Udaltsov said.

A Just Russia party and the Left Front were among the 15 organizations that agreed to back Galanin, he said. Local environmental, human rights activists and members of what Udaltsov described as “patriotic movements” also joined the agreement.

“In December, [the pro-Kremlin] United Russia party lost, the Communists won and A Just Russia came in third with a good result in Kaliningrad,” Udaltsov said, referring to the December 2011 parliamentary elections.

The Communists won just over 30 percent of the vote in Kaliningrad in last year’s elections, while United Russia was second with some 25 percent.

“In the [presidential] elections in March, the result of Vladimir Putin was not high… The opposition has chances to consolidate and try to win,” he said.

About 52 percent of Kaliningrad region residents supported Putin in the March 4 elections, 11 percent less than the average just above 60 percent across Russia, according to official elections statistics.

Udaltsov also said the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party was also planning to put forward its candidate for Kaliningrad mayor, “but we don’t consider them a real opposition, and we will apparently not be able to agree with them.”


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