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120,000 Muscovites take part in municipal straw polls

June 08, 2014, 18:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"By now there are no complaints about violations," a member of the election’s counting board said

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© ITAR-TASS / Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, June 08  /ITAR-TASS/. A total of 120,000 out of Moscow’s 7.177 million eligible voters took part in the straw poll in preparation for the elections to the city legislature (the Moscow Duma) due in September by 14:00 Moscow time, a spokesman for the My Moscow civil initiative told Itar-Tass on Sunday.

“Initially, as many as 438,000 voters registered on our website. By now there are no complaints about violations. We think it is a good percentage. Our ballot papers feature 1,033 candidates,” Gennady Kamyshnikov, a member of the election’s counting board said.

Organizers say no violations had been reported during the voting. “The organizing committee received several calls about incidents at polling stations, My Moscow members were sent to check these reports, neither of them was confirmed,” according to My Moscow official website.

“Such results are a rather big success,” said Mikhail Barshchevsky, the chairman of the counting board told the Ekho Moskvy radio station. “And although this voting is not for all, we hope that at least have of those registered would take part.”

About 1,500 policemen are engaged to ensure law and order at 500 polling stations. The voting is monitored by more than 1,000 observers from candidates, public organizations and the mass media.

A total of 1,033 candidates have registered for taking part in these preliminary polls. Most of candidates are unprofessional politicians, teachers, medics, businessmen. However, twenty-two lawmakers from the current Moscow City Duma, including incumbent speaker Vladimir Platonov, are taking part too. Candidates represent 30 political parties, including the ruling United Russia, A Just Russia, and Civil Platform. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) and Yabloko have decided to ignore these polls. “I have no doubts this initiative was born in the mayor’s office,” said Andrei Klychkov, the leader of the Communist Party faction in the Moscow Duma.

Early results will be published on the night of June 9, and the official results are due on June 20.

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