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Crimea’s referendum looks like voting in Italy – foreign observer

March 16, 2014, 19:54 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
A European Parliament member has found that the process of voting in Crimea’s referendum looks pretty much like elections in his home country, Italy
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Ryumin

SIMFEROPOL, March 16. /ITAR-TASS/. A European Parliament member has found that the process of voting in Crimea’s referendum looks pretty much like elections in his home country, Italy. The man, Fabrizio Berto, a member of the European Parliament, has told ITAR-TASS by telephone that as a member of a foreign mission of several dozen observers, he has visited several polling stations to find nothing wrong.

“I have seen no violations there. People have been voting as usual. Nothing out of the ordinary. Everything is like at elections in Italy. The way it should be everywhere,” Berto said. The Italian observer said the plebiscite was being held “amid complete freedom and democracy.”

Also, he noted the high turnout.

On Saturday Berto managed to contact some ethnic Italians resident in Crimea.

“They told me they feel themselves as absolutely free people and were experiencing absolutely no pressures as to what they should vote for. Most of them were determined to express their opinion,” Breto said.

Law and order at the polling stations is maintained by police, but “there is no military presence.”

Berto is a member of a mission of thirty monitors from a Brussels-based European institution for the observance of democracy and elections. The mission consists of delegates from Poland, Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Italy and Latvia. Some of them are European Parliament members, and others, members of national European parliaments and leading European experts on international law and human rights activists.

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