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On Murmansk tundra, a new local leader

Lovozero is a key town for the Sami population in the Kola Peninsula. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Aleksandr Shestak won the second round of elections in Lovozero Rayon, the Sami-dominated municipality in the Kola Peninsula.

Location

The 52-year old Shestak won the vote against the current Deputy Mayor Gennady Kravchenko with 54 percent support. In the first election round held on 14 October, none of the two policians got the necessary 50 percent support. In the second round, the turnout was 54 percent, almost ten percent more than in the first round, Regnum reports.

Shestak ran as an independent candidate, and is reportedly not associated with the government-loyal United Russia party.

“I consider the election result a victory for my fellow inhabitants,” Shestak told newspaper Vecherny Murmansk. “I am proud of living among people who value justice”, he added.

The new local leader runs his own local enterprise and is a member of the local municipal council. He participated also in the local mayoral elections in 2008, but then with a minor margine lost to Dmitry Pisarev, who has since headed the municipality.

The Lovozero Rayon is the cultural and political center of the indigenous Sami people in Murmansk Oblast. The municipality has a total of about 11500 inhabitants, most of them living in the towns of Revda and Lovozero.