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Election Campaign in Tuva Accompanied by Scandal

The voting to elect deputies to the bicameral parliament started in Tuva at 8 Militia stopped Life Party observers in Tuva. Photo by Vitalii Shaifulin a.m. local time (4 a.m. Moscow). Over 150,000 voters are expected to turn up at election polls. Parliamentary elections in Tuva are accompanied by scandal. Yesterday 90 observers from the Moscow Life party came to Abakan by air as the Tuvan airport services refused to receive the plane. Two buses with the Life members headed from Abakan to Kyzyl at 4 p.m. yesterday intending to come in 6 hours to Kyzyl. But they were first stopped by Kranoyarsk militia on a false signal from their Tuvan colleagues stating that the buses have been carrying ammunition.

After a 3 hour check the observers were allowed to continue to Tuva. But at the alexistrative border they were again stopped, this time by the special task Tuvan militia detachment and auto inspection militiamen.

The whole night the buses were blocked and only Tuvan Prosecutor's interference made them free at 8 a.m. today, when the voting polls have been already opened, and continue their way to the far-off districts of Tuva where in the previous campaigns mass election fraud had been registered.

Life party observers detained in Tuva. Photo by Vitali Shaifulin Life party leader Vasilii Oyun applied to Tuvan Prosecutor's office today to carry out an investigation of the Tuvan high-ranking militia officials' actions who personally supervised the detention of the buses - deputy minister Valeri Kongar and auto inspection head Eres-ool Khaazhyk.

By 6 p.m. election's turn up of 33 percent has been bypassed with Tes-Khem and Kaa-Khem districts in the lead and election results can be considered valid. In Kyzyl, voter activity is not encouraged by bad weather and wet snow.

16 out of 32 members of the lower chamber of the legislature will be elected this year, for the first time, by party lists, while another 16 – from one-seat constituencies.

All 130 deputies to the upper chamber of the Tuva parliament will be elected from one-seat constituencies. Six parties won the right to participate in the election race with republican-wide lists: United Russia, the KPRF, the LDPR, Rodina, Patriots of Russia and the Russian Party of Life.

Dina Oyun
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