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Russia’s Public Chamber observers: Crimea referendum in progress calmly, with high turnout

March 16, 2014, 15:43 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
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SIMFEROPOL, March 16, /ITAR-TASS/. A referendum in Crimea is in progress in a calm atmosphere and there are all reasons to forecast a very high turnout upon its results, observers from Russia’s Public Chamber told Itar-Tass on Sunday.

“Around 30 percent of voters participated in a referendum already in the first hours in Razdolnoye district in Crimea, where I am monitoring the voting,” chairman of the Public Chamber’s working group for public control over election process Georgy Fedorov noted.

“No provocations were reported,” the observer said. “People have high spirits, music is played at polling stations, whole families with children are coming here,” the Public Chamber member added.

“Despite rainy weather Crimean residents are in a festive mood,” member of the Public Chamber’s inter-committee working group on international co-operation and public diplomacy Sergey Ordzhonikidze noted. “I have not seen such enthusiasm on the faces for a long time,” the observer said.

Ordzhonikidze also forecasts a high turnout. He was monitoring the voting in the Crimean city of Yalta on Sunday morning that saw people standing in lines almost at all polling stations.

As for progress of voting, it is being held without any violations, Ordzhonikidze said. “Transparent ballot boxes and semi-closed ballot booths are placed everywhere. There were no situations even for formal remarks,” he added.

Current referendum in Crimea will end at 8pm (10pm Moscow time) on Sunday.

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