MOSCOW, October 14 (Itar-Tass) —— The single voting day is over in Russia, with balloting stations closing at 21:00 Moscow time in the westernmost Kaliningrad region.
Elections of various levels were held on Sunday in 77 Russian constituent regions. Five regions, namely the Amur, Bryansk, Belgorod, Novgorod, and Ryazan regions, elected their governors, for the first time after an eight-year break. Another six regions – the republics of North Ossetia (Alania) and Udmurtia, the Krasnodar Territory, the Penza, Saratov, and Sakhalin regions – elected local legislatures.
According to the Russian Central Election Commission, the turnout in the gubernatorial elections was within the figures reported at the last such elections in 2003 and 2004.
Turnout in the elections of regional parliaments however was somewhat lower than in the gubernatorial elections.
Meanwhile, not so many violations were reported in the Sunday elections than during pervious polling. “There were less reports about violations than in previous elections,” chief of the Russian interior ministry’s public order department Yuri Demidov told Itar-Tass. “It looks like participants are showing a more restraint behavior, the voting is going on in a more civilized manner.”
“In general, the Russian interior ministry notes that elections are being held in a calm atmosphere. Police are ensuring law and order,” he added.
This was the second single voting day in Russia in 2012, with the first one held in March. Under a new law, a single election day is to be appointed in Russia only once a year, on the second Sunday of September.