(JTA) — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny called for a recount in Moscow’s mayoral election after missing the runoff vote cutoff by one percentage point.
Incumbent Sergei Sobyanin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, garnered just over 51 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election to 27 percent for Navalny. Four others also ran to unseat Sobyanin, a former Kremlin chief of staff.
Navalny’s candidacy, which was managed by a pair of tech-savvy Jews, Leonid Volkov and Maksim Kats, had divided Russian Jews. They were torn between the candidate of an establishment that mostly has been good for the Jews and an opposition leader with nationalist associations some found troubling who nevertheless promised to restore democracy and good governance.
Reports circulated last month that Navalny had raised a toast to the Holocaust during a reception in the Russian capital; Navalny and his Jewish campaign staffers denied the claims.