Preparations for parliamentary elections in Chechnya are complete
By Lecha Sadayev
CHECHNYA – Preparations for the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Chechnya are virtually complete, stated Ismail Baykhanov, chairman of the republic’s electoral commission, at a press conference in Grozny on November 17.
According to Baykhanov, the lists of those eligible to vote have now been finally established: they comprise 596,000 people, including approximately 34,000 Russian military personnel and their families. The ballot papers are also ready.
353 candidates are running for 58 parliamentary seats. According to Baykhanov, since the campaign began there has not been one complaint from the candidates about infringements of the electoral law.
Observers from the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Executive Committee of the CIS will be present at the elections.
As regards observers from the West, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) earlier decided to send only a group of five or six people to the elections for evaluation of the situation and for information-gathering. While PACE calls the group a "fact-finding mission", Russian media refer to them as "observers".
On November 17 all of Chechnya’s schools began vacations which will last until the end of the elections. This is connected with the fact that the overwhelming majority of voting stations are located in school buildings.
The Kremlin scheduled the elections for November 27. The parliament of the Chechen Republic will consist of two chambers: the Council of the Republic and the People’s Assembly. According to critics, all recent elections in Chechnya were undemocratic.
Translated by David McDuff.
(MD/T) RELATED ARTICLES:
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