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CHECHNYA LINKS LIBRARY

October 6th 2003 · Prague Watchdog / Ruslan Isayev · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS · ALSO AVAILABLE IN: RUSSIAN 

Chechnya's "presidential election" is over

Ruslan Isayev, North Caucasus – The preliminary result of the Kremlin-organized election of the President of the Chechen Republic was announced already on Monday, October 6. The chairman of the Central Electoral Commission of Chechnya announced that 82 percent of eligible voters took part. By mid-morning it was evident that the present head of the Moscow-backed administration of the republic, Akhmad Kadyrov, was in the lead. Final results will be announced within five days.

It was clear from the beginning that Kadyrov would be the winner, especially after his major rivals dropped out. As many observers noted, Kadyrov’s win was due to the overwhelming support of the Kremlin.

Several days before the elections, Kadyrov gave interviews as if he were already president, speaking about the steps that would be taken in the republic under his rule. He claimed that he has no intentions of seeking a compromise with any opponents, especially the armed ones; and also asked the families of Chechen resistance fighters to urge their relatives to lay down their arms.

Kadyrov also appealed to the State Duma, Russia's lower house, to extend the amnesty period for the rebels. This issue was on the agenda of Monday’s parliamentary session.

Despite everyone’s forebodings, no major incidents took place and the election went smoothly. According to the Central Electoral Commission of Chechnya the only incidents involved the shelling of three polling stations in different regions of the republic by unknown assailants.

(D/A,E,T)

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