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Russia allows foreigners to monitor September 14 elections in Crimea and Sevastopol

May 16, 2014, 19:31 UTC+3 KALININGRAD

“We are not calling them observers, we have invited them as guests,” Рead of the Russian Central Election Committee Vladimir Churov said

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© ITAR-TASS/Yevgeniy Kurskov

KALININGRAD, May 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Foreign representatives will be able to monitor elections in Crimea on the single vote day on September 14, Vladimir Churov, Head of the Russian Central Election Committee, told ITAR-TASS in Kaliningrad, Russia’s westernmost region, on Friday.

“We are not calling them observers, we have invited them as guests,” Churov said, adding he had recently met young US politicians whom he invited to come to Russia on the single vote day.

“Unlike the United States, we allow all guests and observers to visit all polling stations without exception even on closed territories on preliminary agreement,” Churov stressed.

Twenty-seven territorial election commissions will be formed in Crimea and another four will be created in the federal city of Sevastopol.

Churov said it was still unknown how many district election commissions would be formed but assumed that they would be placed in a slightly different way than during the previous elections.

Asked what he thought about possible turnouts at elections in Crimea and Sevastopol, Churov answered, “It is a matter of professional honor for us to ensure that he turnout at federal elections exceeds 60%. This is an informal target but we will do our best to achieve it.”

The head of the Central Electoral Commission said it was necessary to create the infrastructure necessary for the vote before September 14.

A territorial election commission will meet in its first composition in Sevastopol on Saturday to elect its chairman, deputies and a secretary. Churov said that a similar meeting had already been held in Simferopol.

The introduction of the GAS Vybory automated information system has nearly been completed in Crimea and Sevastopol. An electronic register of voters is being compiled; premises have been selected for all territorial election commissions which have been fitted out with all the necessary equipment. Churov explained that the GAS Vybory automated information system would enable Crimean representatives to participate in nationwide video conferences.

Earlier on Friday, the Russian State Duma lower house parliament adopted the third final reading of a bill on elections to the State Council (parliament) of the Republic of Crimea and the Legislative Assembly of the federal city of Sevastopol on September 14, 2014.

The head of the Republic of Crimea and the governor of Sevastopol should be elected accordingly by the deputies of newly-elected legislative bodies of the aforesaid regions not later than December 2014.

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