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Russian parliamentary observers note high turnout at Crimea referendum

March 16, 2014, 14:15 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

Members of the Russian parliamentary observer mission are monitoring current referendum in different districts of Crimea

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© ИТАР-ТАСС/ Валерий Матыцин

SIMFEROPOL, March 16, 14:05 /ITAR-TASS/. Observers from Federation Council upper house of parliament noted high interest of Crimean residents to a referendum on the status of the republic, as people are coming to vote with whole families, their children in many Crimean districts despite rain.

Members of the Russian parliamentary observer mission are monitoring current referendum in different districts of Crimea (Nizhnegorsky, Sovetsky districts, the Crimean cities of Yalta, Sevastopol, Sudak, Kerch), but all Russian lawmakers noted professional work of election committees, head of the Federation Council observer mission Valery Ryazansky told Itar-Tass on Sunday. “District election committees work in well-coordinated way. Residents do not make any claims to personnel of district election committees. The voting is in progress well and calmly,” the head of the Russian parliamentary observer mission stated. He noted that all polling stations opened at 8am (10am Moscow time). “There are no problems in territories where Federation Council members are monitoring the voting,” he noted.

Ryazansky added that Russian lawmakers liked the mood of Crimean residents and their attitude to observers. He also noted a very early high turnout. “People have already been waiting for polling stations to open in advance,” he added.

Member of the Federation Council committee for international affairs Igor Morozov who is monitoring the voting in the city of Sevastopol stated that 15 percent of voters came to polling stations two hours before polling stations opened. “As senior officials at polling stations said this situation has not been observed for 30 years,” he noted.

“We were talking to our colleagues in the city of Kerch, today several people who are older than 100 will vote today there. People have very high spirits,” the Russian lawmaker commented on the situation on the peninsula. “We witness that everything is going on strictly in compliance with legislation, international requirements for referenda,” he noted.

The group of observers was formed upon decision by Federation Council members after a request from Crimea’s Supreme Council. Russian parliamentary observer mission includes nine Federation Council members, including those representing regions bordering Ukraine.

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