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18.03.2014

Mejlis rejects claims of strong Crimean Tatar participation in so-called referendum

   

Refat Chubarov, head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, has accused the self-proclaimed Crimean government of resorting to falsifications in order to claim that a large number of Crimean Tatars took part.  He says that throughout the Crimea only around 1 thousand out of the 185 thousand Crimean Tatars able to vote actually voted in the so-called referendum on March 16. 

As reported, the Mejlis - the representative body of Ukraine’s main indigenous people declared from the outset that it was calling on all Crimean Tatars and other Ukrainians to boycott the referendum.  It held firm in this despite overtures from the puppet government installed at gunpoint on Feb 27.  It is clearly a political embarrassment to the Kremlin that the Crimea’s indigenous people, who have no other homeland, have condemned the referendum and affirmed that they and the Crimea are part of Ukraine.

At a press conference on Monday, Chubarov stated that they had recorded numerous cases of vote rigging and irregularities.  The village of Annovka (Belgorod district), for example, has a population of 290, of whom 200 are Crimean Tatars. Although not one of the latter took part, the commission claimed that 111 people had voted.  Even if all 90 non-Tatars voted, the figure is still 23% higher than it should have been (assuming that the first 290 residents is incorrect, and that there were 290 potential voters. - translator). 

There were similar irregularities in many other areas in the Crimea. He points out that in many micro-districts with a large population of Crimean Tatars, the latter virtually didn’t take part in the referendum, and in 6 or 7 micro-districts in Bakhchysarai polling stations were not even created, because the Crimean Tatars had emphatically refused to take part in the preparations and holding of the event.

The head of the Mejlis stresses that their figures are based on monitoring of electoral commissions in areas with a high Crimean Tatar population, unlike the commission which ran the referendum.  He notes that unlike all previous elections in Ukraine, when copies of the electoral commission protocols were issued, that did not take place on this occasion.  The organizers saw no need for such safeguards.

The most negative aspect of the Crimean crisis, Refat Chubarov says, is that those players who have led to the present situation, have humiliated people, and forced them to "make the necessary choice" despite the wish and right of the citizens themselves.  This, he says, applies to the entire Crimea, not just Crimean Tatars.  Those currently in a state of euphoria will tomorrow come up against the challenges which it places before them.

He categorically rejects initiatives regarding the Crimean Tatars not discussed with the latter and their representative bodies - the Kurultai and Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People. 

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