NOVOSIBIRSK, April 06. /ITAR-TASS/. A low turnout at early mayoral elections in the Russian Siberian city of Novosibirsk meets a forecast that the city election committee had made earlier, chairperson of the city election committee Olga Blago told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
“The election turnout has reached 24.7 percent as of 4pm local time (9am GMT). It was forecast at approximately this level. Voters were not active in the morning, but more people got up and came to vote after dinner,” Blago said.
The highest turnout is still reported in the central district of the city where 31.7 percent of voters had already cast their votes by 4pm local time (9am GMT). Five years ago the turnout at Novosibirsk mayoral elections has already reached 39.7 percent by this time.
A total of 1,153.176 people can participate in the mayoral elections. According to the election law, absentee ballots and early voting are not envisaged at mayoral elections.
In the words of Blago, the city election committee has been checking information coming from different sources about possible violations on the election day, but no serious incident had been reported yet.
“A member of the district election committee with the right to vote gave an excessive ballot paper to a person on a passport of his wife, deciding that she was standing nearby. One more ballot paper has just stuck to other two ballot papers, as they are slim. So, three ballot papers were given,” Blago said, noting that the member of the district election committee making this mistake was removed from the committee and excessive ballot papers were barred from voting.
Mayoral elections have one round. The winner should gain a simple majority of votes and no turnout threshold was set at the polls. The voting will last until 8pm local time (1pm GMT).
Eleven candidates, including a self-nominee, are running for governor in the Russian largest municipal entity.
Early mayoral elections were announced in the city of Novosibirsk after Vladimir Gorodetsky who had occupied the mayoral post since 2000 stepped down ahead of time on January 9, 2014 and was appointed as deputy governor on the same day. After dismissal of Governor of Novosibirsk Region Vasily Yurchenko Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed the former mayor as acting regional governor.