Two allies of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navanly won local parliament seats Monday in the Siberian city of Tomsk where he was allegedly poisoned last month, according to early poll results.
Andrei Fateev and Ksenia Fadeeva came out on top in two constituencies, while the ruling United Russia party topped the polls overall in Tomsk with 24.46 percent of the vote, according to early results published by regional election officials.
It comes as opposition candidate Fadeeva vowed: 'You can't sit on the throne for 20 years, grab, steal endlessly, do all of this and go unpunished.'
Andrei Fateev and Ksenia Fadeeva came out on top in two constituencies, while the ruling United Russia party topped the polls overall in Tomsk. Fadeeva pictured above
The local elections were closely watched for signs of protest voting against the ruling party that backs President Vladimir Putin amid frustrations over years of falling wages and the government's handling of the pandemic.
The votes also followed the suspected poisoning by a rare nerve agent of opposition politician Navalny who had promoted a tactical voting strategy to hurt United Russia and fielded dozens of candidates for city councils in Siberia.
Official early results showed pro-Kremlin politicians backed by Putin coasting to landslide wins to serve as the governors of the regions of Komi, Tatarstan, Kamchatka and more than a dozen others. Votes were still being counted.
A woman casts a ballot during municipal elections in Tomsk, Russia on September 13
But Navalny's supporters scored rare victories in city council votes in Novosibirsk, Russia's third city by population, and the student town of Tomsk where United Russia, which dominates regional power, appeared to have lost its council majority.
'People are sick of the authorities. You can't sit on the throne for 20 years, grab, steal endlessly, do all of this and go unpunished,' said Ksenia Fadeyeva, who won a council seat in Tomsk.
Navalny supporter Andrei Fateev, 32, also won a seat in Tomsk, while others such as Sergei Boyko,