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No reasons to annul Astrakhan mayoral election results

April 12, 2012, 14:25 UTC+3

Thirty percent is too big a lead to view the issue as political

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MOSCOW, April 12 (Itar-Tass) — Chairman of the Central Election Commission Vladimir Churov confirmed that he saw no reasons for annulling the mayoral election results in Astrakhan.

"The possibility to annul the voting results there is not contemplated as yet," Churov said.

"Thirty percent is too big a lead to view the issue as political," the CEC chairman said adding that the CEC continued to review the videos taken at the Astrakhan voting stations where violations had been reported.

According to Churov, he met the request of A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov to personally view videos, on the condition, that Oleg Shein, a losing candidate, would be present, too. He extended the hope that Shein "will stop his senseless and useless hunger strike."

On Wednesday, Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission Leonid Ivlev said the CEC saw no reasons to annul the Astrakhan election results.

"The CEC has repeatedly reviewed video recordings made at voting stations, and examined various complaints and statements. The vote count procedure was violated at a number of stations. All the election commissions had the opportunity to determine the results of the voters' expression of will and establish the results, which they did. The CEC does not see any grounds to initiate the procedure to annul the results of the mayoral election in the town of Astrakhan," Ivlev said.

The Astrakhan mayoral election was won by United Russia candidate Mikhail Stolyarov, but A Just Russia claims it is their representative, Oleg Shein, who is the winner. A Just Russia representatives, including Shein, announced a hunger strike in protest.

Official reports said Stolyarov had netted 60 percent of votes, and Shein - 30 percent.

Hunger striker Shein said he had not suspended his protest, and that it would continue "in a softer mode."

Speaking at a session of the Astrakhan region legislature on Thursday, he explained that "a softer mode" implied that he and his associates would drink not only water, but also juices.

"Who said a hunger strike is illegal? They actually imposed a curfew on Astrakhan: that's illegal," Shein said.

In his statement Shein criticized the CEC's decision which noted the legitimacy of the mayoral election.

He also named Town Hall officials who he said were involved in crimes.

Astrakhan region governor Alexander Zhilkin earlier said he would personally feed Shein to keep him from harm: "I believe the protest action should be stopped. I'll have to go there and feed him in order not to lose a person, a comrade. I've known him for more than 15 years."


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