A new law on mayoral elections has been given first approval by the Moscow Duma.
The regulation is part of a nationwide reform to reinstate elections for regional leaders.
Tabled by United Russia, the law obliges any mayoral candidate to gain the support of at least 10 per cent of the municipal deputies. Independent candidates are falling out of the race for the Moscow mayor post.
According to the document, the mayor will have a five-year term, and has to be a Russian citizen over the age of 30. The bill does not require candidates to be from Moscow.
The current mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, has been governing the capital since October 2010. He is not a Muscovite by birth, and was appointed by then-President Dmitry Medvedev.
The law also forbids Moscow Mayor to hold his position for more than two terms. Moscow's former mayor Yury Luzhkov was in power for 18 years. In 2010, Medvedev dismissed Luzhkov due to “loss of confidence.”
Only the Communists voted against the bill, calling the law an attempt to control the election process.
Another law, introducing direct governors’ elections, comes into force in June. Currently, governors in Russia are appointed by the President.
After the parliamentary elections last December, Medvedev said he would evaluate the work of regional leaders.