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© RIA Novosti. Denis Grishkin

Moscow Mayor Sobyanin to resign

by David Burghardt at 04/06/2013 17:16

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced on Tuesday he will resign.

The move will provide for snap elections by the direct public to be held on September 8 of this year. Sobyanin's term was to end in 2015; however, many believe direct elections to be held in just over two months would give Sobyanin the lead as other candidates would not have the chance for active campaigning.

"I will soon turn to the Russian president with a request to hold elections for the mayor of Moscow this year," Sobyanin said during a meeting earlier with the Moscow Public Chamber.

The speaker of the Moscow City Duma, Vladimir Platonov, who was present at the meeting, supported Sobyanin's initiative, after which the current mayor said he would address President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday about his resignation.

He said that direct elections would be held for the first time in 10 years and that the majority of Muscovites support the idea of electing the mayor at the same time the governor of the Moscow Region is elected on September 8.

It is believed that Sobyanin will assume the title of "Acting Mayor" until elections are held. Putin will still have to accept Sobyanin's resignation.

The new mayoral term of office was changed in 2008 to five years as opposed to four years previously.

Before 2012, governors of Russia's regions, as well as the mayors of Moscow and St. Petersburg were appointed by the president. Then-president Dmitry Medvedev sacked long-time Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov back in 2010, and Sobyanin was approved for the position.

This article has been updated with details from the original material published at 16:53 Moscow Time.

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