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CHECHNYA LINKS LIBRARY

August 31st 2004 · Prague Watchdog / Timur Aliyev · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS · ALSO AVAILABLE IN: RUSSIAN 

Violations during presidential elections in Chechnya

Timur Aliyev, North Caucasus - Presidential elections in the Chechen Republic ended on Sunday. According to official data from the Central Electoral Commission, about 80% of the people took part in the elections with 74% voting for Alu Alkhanov, the Kremlin’s favorite candidate.

However, according to some sources, these figures do not correspond with reality as there were many violations during the elections.

One of the presidential candidates, Movsar Khamidov, (who didn’t get more than 8% according to official data) stated that local election commissions falsified data according to a prior agreed upon plan.

"They were instructed that a certain number of people would vote at 10 a.m., but even though only a few people showed up, these figures were listed anyway," Khamidov told our correspondent.

He also stated that Moscow residents, or even people without documents, were allowed to vote when they announced they would give their ballot to Moscow-backed Alkhanov.

There were also many instances recorded of people voting for more than one candidate. For example, the correspondent of the Kommersant daily, who resides in Grozny, managed to vote four times in different parts of Chechnya.

About 25,000 soldiers of the Russian federal army deployed in Chechnya also took part in the elections. They were allowed to vote during the entire week before Election Day.

Journalists and observers reported the absence of people at the polling stations. According to Khamidov, by 2:30 in the afternoon there were still no voters registered at the local election commission in the village of Mekenskaya in the Naursky district. Yet according to official lists, about 35% had already voted.

Prague Watchdog's editor Adam Ledvina contributed to this report.

(S/E,T)



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