President Boris Yeltsin fired his personal representative in Russia's third-largest city on Saturday after a disputed election in which a convicted embezzler was chosen its mayor.
While the presidential decree announcing the firing did not mention the March 29 election in Nizhny Novgorod, Yeltsin's decision was widely believed to be a result of the vote.Andrei Klimentyev, who won the mayoral race, was convicted last year of embezzling $2.5 million and sentenced to 18 months in prison. He was freed for time served in pre-trial detention.
But Klimentyev's mayoral victory was invalidated after the local electoral commission said it had received complaints of campaign violations. The Central Election Commission in Moscow accused Klimentyev of bribing voters and permitting campaign violations.
Klimentyev was arrested Thursday during a hearing on a possible new sentence for the embezzlement conviction.
Yeltsin's decree Saturday dismissed Yuri Lebedev, the presidential representative in the Nizhny Novgorod region, the Kremlin press service said.
The decree also reprimanded Viktoria Mitina, deputy chief of staff of the presidential administration, and Sergei Samoilov, head of the administration's territorial department.
The decree accused the officials of "unsatisfactory organization of work regarding . . . the territorial department."
On Tuesday, Yeltsin had said he was "deeply concerned" by the election result and promised an investigation.