Putin appoints new acting governor in Far East region where Communist challenger was poised to win third-round election

The Kremlin has revealed its next step in Primorsky Krai, where invalidated voting results recently snatched away the incumbent governor's suspicious runoff election victory: Vladimir Putin is appointing Oleg Kozhemyako, currently the head of the Sakhalin region, to be Primorye's new acting governor. The president also said he won't object if Kozhemyako decides to run in the third-round gubernatorial election, which is scheduled to take place in the next three months.

At least for now, the reshuffling renders jobless Andrey Tarasenko, who couldn't hold onto a second-round victory over his Communist challenger. Andrey Ischenko, Tarasenko's erstwhile rival, will now likely face off against another Putin-endorsed United Russia incumbent.

A source told the newspaper Vedomosti that Tarasenko spent the past several days in Moscow, meeting with officials from the Putin administration. After speaking to Igor Levitin, a top presidential adviser, Tarasenko was reportedly being considered for an appointment as deputy minister of transport.