Syktyvkar Prepares for Local Elections

In three days Syktyvkar, capital of the Komi Republic, will hold city elections. The mayoral and city council races are being watched by the whole country after the former mayor was arrested on charges of corruption.

The former mayor, Izö Śéleskei, was removed from office and imprisoned two months ago after being convicted of corruption. Records indicate that he has both accepted bribes from a number of businesses in exchange for his support on policies, and large sums of money from local criminal organizations in exchange for impunity. This information came to light after an unidentified informant leaked directly to office of the governor and to the local media, creating a scandal that caught the attention of the entire nation. Śéleskei is currently serving ten years in prison.

The scandal has almost completely destroyed the Syktyvkar branch of the Labor Party, leaving the next election nearly impossible to predict. The entire country will be watching the election results as the Center, Progressive/Social Democratic Alliance, and Komi Order parties struggle for dominance in the city, which has been almost completely controlled by the Labor Party since 1991.