Without primaries, the democratic opposition is primed for an internal rivalry in the Moscow mayoral race

Meduza

On Wednesday, the “Civic Initiative” party nominated former State Duma deputy Dmitry Gudkov to run for mayor of Moscow. He says he’ll soon submit the necessary paperwork to the city’s election commission. Gudkov is one of more than a dozen politicians, including incumbent Sergey Sobyanin and fellow oppositionist Ilya Yashin, who have already announced their intention to seek mayoral candidacy.

Gudkov and Yashin previously stressed the democratic opposition’s need for mayoral primaries, to avoid cannibalizing the anti-Kremlin movement’s admittedly limited number of votes. Personalities clashed, however, and now the two men are set to go head-to-head.

The municipal filter. But running to be mayor of Moscow takes more than a simple announcement; even a formal nomination from a political party doesn’t get you on the ballot. The city has what is lovingly called “the municipal filter,” meaning that individuals need to get the support of at least one municipal deputy in at least 110 different districts of Moscow, in order to be registered as a candidate. The only political party with that many deputies spread across so many districts is United Russia, the country’s ruling political party.