Moscow has called for snap mayoral elections after the former mayor announced his resignation - while setting himself up as the top contender for another run at the post.
Moscow City Duma announced on Tuesday that the city's mayoral elections will be held on September 8, two years earlier than planned as former Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has announced his departure on June 4. This is while experts believe Sobyanin will win the upcoming election, as his rivals would lack the necessary time to establish a formidable campaign strategy. Meanwhile, many Muscovites supported the call for elections as a sign of easing restrictions from President Vladimir Putin's government who abolished elections of regional governors and Moscow's mayor in 2004. The upcoming elections will mark the first time in 10 years that citizens could choose their mayor by a popular vote. On September 28, 2010 former mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, was dismissed from the position after massive corruption allegations against him and his wife were exposed. Luzhkov was Moscow's mayor from 1972 to 2010, though current mayors are allotted only a five-year term.