SIMFEROPOL / AQMESCIT (QHA) -

Despite the pressure and tricks of the current Crimean authorities and attempts of separate few officials in the power, from among the Crimean Tatars, to attract Crimean Tatar population for participation in the illegal elections to the Russian State Duma, the majority of the indigenous people of Crimea have not taken part in those illegal elections not recognized by the world. 

So, all possible resources were used to attract the Crimean Tatars to elections. Among them, trips all round the regions and holding of conferences - this is just a small fraction of the work. In preparation for the elections there were used pressure and coercion, especially in relation to public sector: employees in the field of education, medicine and culture. Many were made a note of and forced to compulsory attend the elections and provide reports.

Pro-governmental channel "Millet" organized a 12.5-hour marathon with an invitation of "top officials", who claimed that the Crimean Tatars would take part in the elections. However, The forecasts of some officials in the government that the turnout among the Crimean Tatars will be about 60% have not been confirmed. The position of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Crimea -   whose representatives in the campaign decided to combine religion with politics and called on Crimean Tatars to vote – turned out to be especially ridiculous.

The election turnover among the Crimean Tatars on the peninsula was very low on September 18.

“In Ukraine, we always had a turnout of 60-64%. A lot of people as well participated in the 2014 referendum. But now the activity is low,” admitted Chairman of the local PEC (precinct election commission) Natalia Kochetkova. “The Crimean Tatar population do not vote with us. In Ukraine, they used to go to the polls, and then stopped. Thus, the percentage has dropped. We have 1300 voters at our election district. Crimean Tatars make up one-third, but only about a dozen of them came to vote. In general, Tatars behave calmly, without any protests,” according to"Radio Liberty".

Ignoring the election is the conscious position of the majority of Crimean Tatars who do not accept Russian occupation of Crimea and in such a way express their protest.

Just a reminder: September 18, Russian citizens elected deputies to the State Duma. Considering Crimea its own territory and notwithstanding the international law, Russia illegally opened polling stations in the occupied part of Ukraine.

Most countries have refused to send observers to the elections in Crimea. OSCE and the Venice Commission did not monitor the results of voting in the occupied peninsula as well.

Ukraine strongly condemned the conduct of Russian elections on its territory and called on other countries not to recognize its results, while maintaining a policy of non-recognition of the annexation of Crimean peninsula.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that "any results of these elections are null and void", and noted that the holding of parliamentary elections in Russia in violation of international law puts into question the legitimacy of the elected State Duma, and is a factor to strengthen sanctions against Russia.

QHA