Russian authorities pressing Crimean Tatars to vote, leader of the Crimean Tatar national movement in Ukraine and worldwide Refat Chubarov says.
Despite the fact that the Presidential election in Russia is devoid of intrigue, officials are trying to ensure the high turnout of votes.
The Insider publication shows at least ten ways used by Russian authorities to increase turnout: there are to be held referendums on important local issues and local elections on the day of the nation-wide elections; there’s going to be a lot of fair-style competitions with nice prizes for participating voters; and there is also going to a practice of forcing the staff of kindergartens and schools to compulsory entry into the polling station by collecting their personal data.
Russian officials pay special attention to the Crimea events. The newspaper Kommersant quotes a statement by the head of the Sevastopol branch of United Russia in the occupied Crimea, Boris Kolesnikov, who says that “the turnout of the presidential elections will be compared with the turnout of the referendum,” and therefore “it is important to come to the polls and vote” (the official figures of turnout in the so-called “referendum on the accession of the Crimea to Russia” were 89.5% in the Crimea, and 83.1% in Sevastopol).
The head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, Refat Chubarov, in his interview to the Russian “Voice of America” representatives confirmed that the pro-Russian authorities in Crimea are trying to increase the turnout of the presidential election, especially among the Crimean Tatars.
“According to the data we receive, the Russia-appointed authorities in Crimea mobilize everything in order to ensure a high level of people’s participation in the illegal elections. Particular attention is paid to the Crimean Tatar part of the electorate, and the feeling that this time the occupiers want to play for the total non-participation of the Crimean Tatars in the staged “referendum” of 2014 “.
Refat Chubarov says that special services are also involved to ensure high attendance rate of the Crimean Tatars at the polling station.
“The authorities exert pressure on all segments of the Crimean Tatar social life: they cause the FSS imams, some of them, those who those who oppose the current practices of managing the spiritual needs of Muslims in contemporary Russia privately warn off that they can be excommunicated from their communities, or they will be forbidden to engage in religious education at all. “
According to the leader of the Crimean Tatars, the leadership of the Crimean Engineering and Pedagogical University exerted considerable pressure on students, “resorting to threats that if they do not show proper social activity in the upcoming elections, then it is going to be difficult for those students to continue their study”.
Teachers, who already begin to compile the lists of children and their parents, endure the same kind of pressure. People were also recruited to participate in the elections through Crimean Tatar entrepreneurs… For Putin and his entourage, it is very important that the Crimea not only demonstrates a high turnout but shows the number of voters much higher than in Russia, especially among the Crimean Tatars “, thinks Chubarov.
To remind, Russia occupied Crimea in Spring 2014.