KHABAROVSK, October 14 (Itar-Tass) — Gubernatorial elections have started in Russia’s Amur region. Most of the 782 polling stations opened their doors to voters at eight o’clock local time.
Voting started earlier, at 6 or 7 o’clock in the morning in several populated localities, following a decision of regional election commissions, to enable miners, gold miners and railroad workers whose working shifts start at 8 in the morning to cast their ballots.
According to the regional election commission, 1,499 people in remote and hard-to –reach areas had voted in advance. They included reindeer-breeders, meteorologists and residents of tiny settlements. Members of the election commission had to use helicopters, cross-country vehicles as well as boats to reach those distant areas.
Four candidates nominated by regional organizations of political parties are running for the post of governor of the Amur region. They are incumbent Governor Oleg Kozhemyako (United Russia), State Duma deputy Ivan Abramov (LDPR), Dmitry Zharovsky (A Just Russia party), deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Amur region, and Roman Kobyzov from the Communist Party of Russia.
A candidate who gains over 50% of votes from voters who take part in elections in the first round will be the winner.
Oleg Kozhemyako, the incumbent governor, took office in 2008. His term is expiring this October.
Web-cameras have been installed at all polling stations in the Amur region. Voting will be broadcast online at 430 out of 782 polling stations. Ballot processing systems have been installed at 45 polling stations.
Alongside with the governor, people in the Amur region will elect the heads of administrations of Belogorsk, Skovorodino, Zavitinsk, the Oktyabrsky and Shimanovsky districts; the administration chiefs of 60 villages and settlements and deputies of urban, district and rural councils.
More than 4,000 elections and referendums of various levels will take place in 77 out of 83 Russian regions on the single voting day on October 14.