Voting in Ingushetia during Chechen referendum ruled out

Chechen administration head Akhmed-hadji Kadyrov told journalists in Grozny on 25 February that no provision will be made to enable Chechen displaced persons to cast their ballots in the 23 March referendum in camps in Ingushetia, Russian news agencies reported. Chechen Election Commission Chairman Abdul-Kerim Arsakhanov said last month that polling stations would be established in five such camps in Ingushetia (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 17 January 2003). But Kadyrov explained that under Russian legislation people may vote only at the place where they are registered as permanently resident. Central Election Commission Chairman Aleksandr Veshnyakov, however, told Ekho Moskvy on 25 February that special polling stations will be established in Chechnya close to the border with Ingushetia and that bus service will be provided between the displaced-persons camps and those polling stations, Interfax reported. Veshnyakov gave the total number of registered voters in Chechnya as 537,000. LF


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