ST. PETERSBURG, March 12. /TASS/. Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Valentina Matviyenko believes that voters’ activity in the March 18 presidential election will be higher than during previous campaigns.
"The fact that an approach to take part in the voting has shaped in society is evident to the naked eye. According to sociological surveys, more voters plan to come to polling stations on March 18 than during the previous elections," she said in an interview with the Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti daily newspaper published on Monday.
Matviyenko confirmed that the Russian authorities and the media pay much attention to information on the upcoming presidential election. "The state, including us, legislators, regional and municipal authorities and the Central Election Commission, is indeed doing the best it can to make sure that as many Russians as possible come to the polls, because this is the real citizens' participation in ruling the country, in making a fateful decision, without the slightest exaggeration," the speaker noted.
She dismissed all talk that the outcome of the vote is predetermined as unsubstantiated. "Citizens have several candidates to choose from. There are eight candidates in the final list running from the parties presented in the State Duma (lower house of parliament - TASS) and other political forces," she stressed.
According to Matviyenko, "all candidates are ambitious in the good sense of the word and committed to real ideological and political struggle." She also expressed the hope that the final stage of the election campaign would proceed without violations of legal norms and scandals.
"Of course, it will be hardly possible to completely avoid the intensity of emotions. That said, the regulating and controlling role of the Central Election Commission is becoming increasingly more important now. At the same time, I believe the candidates themselves are interested in showing responsibility and prudence in both their speeches and actions. The candidates’ moral and psychological qualities are no less important than professionalism, experience and intellectual abilities," she noted.