THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Nearly 20 Russian citizens cast their vote for the Russian Legislative elections 2016 at a booth specially arranged at the Honorary Russian Consulate here on Friday. These off-shore voters have cast their franchise two days ahead of the elections to the 450 seats in the State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, scheduled for September 18. Those who voted in the city on Friday include Russians living in the city and also Russian tourists travelling through the city.
There were 14 candidates in the fray, including those from United Russia led by Dmitry Medvedev, Communist Party led by Gennady Zyuganov, the social democratic A Just Russia led by Sergey Mironov, and the far right Liberal Democratic Party led by the controversial Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Since the voters were from different constituencies in Russia, and only a single booth was arranged, the ballot paper did not have the names of candidates, only the names of the 14 parties in the fray. “The voters will choose their party and the ballot paper will be taken to the voter’s constituency and added to the final tally in the respective constituency.
“Most voters were Russian nationals who got married to Keralites and had settled here in the city. Russian business men, most of them who run tour operations, and tourists, too, had an opportunity to cast their votes,” said Ratheesh C. Nair, honorary consul of the Russian federation. It was the second time, Russian Election Commission opened special polling centre at the Honorary Consulate which is situated at the Russian Cultural Centre premises in the city. Mr Alexei Vasakov, Deputy consul General of the Russian Federation in Chennai, the honorary consul of the Russian federation and Director of the Russian Cultural Centre and Mr. Mikhail Khrisanov, third secretary of the Consulate General conducted the election process.