HANOI, March 14. /TASS/. Russian nationals holidaying or working in Vietnam have an opportunity to cast ballots in the early voting for the Russian president which begins on Wednesday, Russian Consul-General in the southern city of Ho Chi Minh Alexei Popov told TASS.
The diplomat said the early voting takes place in resort cities where a lot of Russian tourists are spending their holidays, as well as in the province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau for workers of the Russian-Vietnamese oil producing joint venture Vietsovpetro.
"The Central Election Commission gave us the right to hold the early voting at several locations - Nha Trang, Phan Thiet, Phu Quoc Island, that are the most popular among the Russian tourists, as well as in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province," Popov said. The early voting in Nha Trang takes place on March 14, while in Phan Thiet and on Phu Quock Island it is due on March 16.
The consul-general emphasized that voting on Phu Quoc Island is organized for the first time ever. "According to our tour operators, several hundred Russian tourists are currently holidaying on the island. Every Russian national having the right to vote and staying in Vietnam can take part in the voting, for which he has to produce the valid foreign passport," he said.
Within the framework of preparations for the presidential election, the Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh has discussed all practical issues with the local authorities, who pledged that they will provide all necessary assistance in organizing the voting.
The Russian Embassy in Hanoi told TASS that on the Election Day of March 18 four polling stations will open across Vietnam. They will be located at the Russian Embassy, at the consulates general in Ho Chi Minh and Da Nang, as well as in the township of Vietsovpetro in Vung Tau.
Eight contenders are presently running for Russia’s presidency. Among them incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin, who will participate as an independent candidate, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and businessman Pavel Grudinin nominated by the CPRF. Other candidates include Yabloko party co-founder Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the Party of Growth business ombudsman Boris Titov, head of the Russian People’s Union party and former Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Sergey Baburin, TV host Ksenia Sobchak (nominated by Civil Initiative) and head of the Communists of Russia Maxim Suraikin.