"Since the scrapping of direct gubernatorial elections, the Kremlin has been trying to find a way to put an end to mayoral elections," said Maxim Dianov, head of the Institute for Regional Problems.
said governors, who are appointed by the Kremlin, had lost interest in cultivating rural voters.Those voters, who comprise one-third of the country's voting population and will play a key role in upcoming elections, are controlled by mayors of small cities and towns.
"The Kremlin fully controls the governors, who will work to guarantee a good showing for United Russia
, but they don't have the complete control of the mayors," Dianov
The Kremlin, Dianov
said, wants authority over big-city mayors because they control a large portion of the revenues that flow into federal coffers.
The arrest of the mayor of Volgograd
, a city of 1.2 million, would make it easier for the presidential administration to justify scrapping mayoral elections as part of an anti-corruption campaign, Dianov