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Crimea residents elect new legislature after reunion with Russia

September 14, 2014, 11:20 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
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SIMFEROPOL, September 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Crimean residents are electing the peninsula’s new legislature for the first time since Crimea reunited with Russia in spring this year.

Over 1.5 million registered voters are electing 75 deputies to the Crimean State Council, of whom 50 will be elected on party lists and 25 in majority constituencies.

A total of 803 candidates from 12 political parties are competing for 50 seats on party lists and 108 candidates are running in majority constituencies.

Electors will be able to cast their votes under Russian, Ukrainian or Soviet passports.

“A stamp on an individual’s registration will be of primary importance,” Crimean Electoral Commission Chairman Mikhail Malyshev said.

According to data of Russia’s Federal Migration Service, 98% of Crimean residents have already obtained Russian passports.

As many as 2,497 residents of Crimea have been excluded from electoral lists as they earlier signed applications for retaining Ukrainian citizenship. They will not be able to take part in the vote, the Electoral Commission head said.

Crimea used to be part of Russia from 1784 until 1954 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev handed it over to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in a voluntaristic act. Crimea remained part of independent Ukraine after the USSR collapsed in 1991.

A people’s referendum was held in Crimea on March 16, 2014 in which most people voted for reuniting with Russia. On March 18, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Crimea’s integration into Russia.

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