The mayor of Russia’s fourth-largest city has stepped down to protest a government-promoted law which scrapped mayoral elections.

Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman announced his resignation on Tuesday as the city’s legislature, which he also chairs, was about to incorporate the amendment scrapping the mayoral vote. Mayors will now be elected by the legislature instead.

The City Duma in April backed the bill including the amendment despite widespread protests against the move. It was drafted by the pro-government faction.

Roizman, elected in 2013 for five years, is one of the few leading Russian regional officials who openly criticizes President Vladimir Putin and supports his archrival Alexei Navalny.

He had also called for a boycott of the March presidential vote, saying the election was not free or fair.

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