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SIMFEROPOL, March 12, /ITAR-TASS/. The first results of Crimea’s referendum, in which its residents will have to decide whether they want to join Russia or stay within Ukraine, will be available on March 16 and the final results will be announced later, Crimean Minister of Information Dmitry Polonsky said on Wednesday, March 12.
He said one electoral commission would handle 1,000 ballots on the average. “I think we will see the first data, the quick ones when a commission counts, draws up a protocol and transmits [it] by telephone or electronic communication lines to the Central Electoral Commission, on the sixteenth,” the minister said.
The final results will be announced only after all official documents have been delivered to the Central Electoral Commission.
He believes that “we will get data, 90 percent reliable, before the end of the day on March 16.”
The referendum will be held on March 16. The decision was adopted by 49 of 50 MPs present at the session.
Three questions will be asked during the referendum:
1. Do you support Crimea’s reunification with Russia as its constituent member?
2. Do you support the restoration of the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea of 1992 and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine?
The ballots in Sevastopol will also include a question on its accession to Crimea as a city with a special status, he added.
Sevastopol’s City Council ruled on March 6, to hold a referendum on the city’s accession to Russia.
City administration acting head Dmitry Belik said Sevastopol would join Russia as its constituent member after the referendum.
“We will hold one referendum with the rest of Crimea, but after it two entities will join Russia as its constituent members: Sevastopol and Crimea. And changes to the constitution will also be made separately,” he said.
Speaking at a rally held in the centre of the city on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8, Belik stressed that social allowances would continue to be paid after accession to Russia. “The salaries of public sector employees, medic and social workers will be preserved at their current level as a minimum or maybe even increased. We are now working in close contact with Russian officials over a new social system for the city,” Belik said.
He thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian parliament for their support.
The Crimean parliament on March 6 ruled to hold a referendum on accession to Russia on March 16. Earlier it was scheduled for March 30.
The Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) said it would support Crimea’s decision to join Russia if its people vote so in the referendum.