Russian citizens go to the polls on Sunday to elect the heads of 22 regions, including the mayor of the capital, Moscow. They will also elect lawmakers in 16 regional legislatures and thousands of municipal councils.
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The Moscow mayoral elections are probably the most important event of election day, with five candidates running for the post, including incumbent Mayor Sergey Sobyanin. The other candidates in the race are billionaire real estate developer Mikhail Balakin; lower house MP representing the populist-nationalist Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia, Mikhail Degtyarev; Communist Party candidate Vadim Kunin; and Ilya Sviridov, who represents the center-left party Fair Russia.
Four Russian regional capitals – Yakutsk, Abakan, Khabarovsk and Tomsk – will also hold mayoral polls on the national elections day.
Seven constituencies across the country will also hold by-elections to fill vacant seats in the State Duma, and voters will elect members to 16 regional legislatures and around 6,000 municipal councils.
Earlier this week, the Russian Central Election Commission opened a special information center to cover the events taking place on the single elections day. One of the commission members, Aleksandr Klyukin, has said that 893 journalists from 33 mass media outlets had received accreditation for the center, including 17 reporters from four foreign-based media organizations.