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Foreign observers note impressive youth turnout in Crimea referendum

March 16, 2014, 16:04 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
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SIMFEROPOL, March 16, /ITAR-TASS/. Foreign observers have noted an impressive youth turnout for Crimea’s referendum on the future of the peninsula, the leader of the non-governmental Observer Council - Crimean Choice, Ivan Abazher, of Bulgaria, has said.

“We have inspected 1,169 polling stations. We saw no violations or provocations. Voter activity in Crimea is unprecedented,” he said. “Many young people have already come to the polls. We confirm that the referendum is proceeding in strict compliance with the plan.”

A member of the international observer mission, Bulgarian parliament member Pavel Chernev, has told ITAR-TASS by telephone that the voting in the Bakhchisarai district of Crimea, with a predominantly Tatar population, was fully in line with the European norms. Chernev said he had already been to seven polling stations in the district, including the villages of Pochtovoye, Cashton, Plodovoye, Malovidnoye, Kochergino and Otradnoye.

“Organization and procedures are 100 percent in line with the European standards,” Chernev said.

In particular, the Bulgarian legislator was interested to see what arrangements had been made for elderly people, who are unable to get to the polling stations on their own.

“For all such people there is a special mobile team with a small ballot box, which visits senior citizens at home. In this respect the organization is very good,” Chernev said.

About the atmosphere at the polling stations he said it was calm and no incidents have occurred so far.

“The lines are very long, the turnout is big indeed. The organization is excellent,” Chernev said.

The Bulgarian legislator is a member of a 30-delegate mission from a Brussels-based European institute for the observance of democracy and elections, among them, monitors from Poland, Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Italy and Latvia. Some of them are members of the European Parliament, members of European parliaments and leading European experts on international law and human rights activists.

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