Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk: The Next Patriarch?

Voting Completed, 2 Candidates Left, One Clear Front-Runner

The voting is completed for the next Russian Patriarch.

The second-place contender, Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk, has dropped out and the Council has decided not to add a third candidate. This leaves Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk, the most likely candidate among the “Metropolitburo”, and Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga, considered to be the current administration’s preference. The current candidate requires 352 votes to win the election.

As a 10-1 favorite, we believe it’s a safe bet– NFTU projects Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk by 400-450 votes, as most of Filaret’s votes will likely go to the underdog Kliment of Kaluga. I’d be surprised if the Kremlin’s new favored son makes it considering the political climate. Joseph Suaiden, NFTU

(Interfax) – The voting procedure in the election of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia finished at about 6:30 p.m. Moscow time at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, where the Church Council gathered for a meeting on Tuesday.

“The boxes into which the Church Council meeting participants put their ballots have been sealed and taken out of the hall. The vote counting is to begin now,” the Moscow Patriarchate spokesman Mikhail Moiseyev told Interfax-Religion.

The voters had to choose between two candidates, i.e. Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad and Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk.

To be elected Patriarch, a candidate has to garner more than 50% of the vote, that is, at least 352 votes, taking into account that a total of 702 people cast their ballots. If the votes are split equally, a new vote will be arranged.

Vsevolod Chaplin, a deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, said on Monday that each member of the tabulation commission was supposed to check every ballot. “The system of reciprocal verification will be so strict that it would be extremely difficult to rig or manipulate something,” he said.