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Crimean referendum over, 93% vote for accession to Russia – exit poll

March 16, 21:12 UTC+3 URGENT -- Polling stations in Crimea closed
The exit poll was conducted at over 200 polling stations of Crimea, including 50 polling stations in Sevastopol.
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Ryumin

SIMFEROPOL, March 16. /ITAR-TASS/. A total of 93% of participants in the referendum in Crimea have voted for the accession to Russia, according to an exit poll conducted by the Crimean Institute for Political and Sociological Studies.

A total of 7% of participants in the referendum prefer Crimea to preserve its status. 

The exit poll’s data were made public after polling stations had closed closed.

The exit poll was conducted at over 200 polling stations of Crimea, including 50 polling stations in Sevastopol.

People were asked the question: do you vote for Crimea’s accession to Russia as a constituent entity or do you vote for restoring the 1992 Constitution of Crimea as part of Ukraine.

Totally, 59,111 people were polled.

Crimean vice-premier Rustam Temirgaliev said the exit poll data proved Crimea’s victory.

Observers said the referendum had been held in an undisturbed atmosphere and members of the international observers mission, the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation and Russia's Federal Assembly were expected to offer their assessments shortly.

Referendum in Crimea on the future status of the region fully met international standards and stood in line with democratic procedures, Mateusz Piskorski, the chief of the international observer mission said after the closure of the polling stations Sunday.

Extremely high turnout

CrimeaInform news agency says the voters' activity was twice as intensive as in the last parliamentary election in October 2012.

The turnout at the referendum currently in Crimea is was very high. Crimean Information Minister Dmitry Polonsky said on Sunday, that it could exceed 80%.

“Data proves that the turnout exceeds 70%,” the minister said, adding that the joint efforts allowed the authorities to organize the referendum within the shortest period of time. “The team, which is taking the lead in Crimea, has been created recently. It involved young and ambitious politicians.”

The turnout at the referendum in Sevastopol on Crimea's accession to Russia exceeded 85%, head of the city election commission Valery Medvedev said.

"I've received data after the closure of polling stations. It proves that the turnout exceeds 85%," the city election commission head said.

"Data gathering has not been completed yet," he added.

The polling stations in Sevastopol were closed at 22:00 Moscow time.

At present, polling stations continue to calculate votes.

Accession to Russia

Under the Constitution of the Russian Federation the initiative of joining the Russian Federation is the prerogative of the applicant state (or of its part). The Russian president notifies the parliament and government of the Russian Federation of such a request. After the signing of an international treaty the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation examines it for legality and compliance with the Constitution. The document undergoes ratification. The name of the new territory of the Russian Federation, its borders and transitional period are determined. The newly-admitted territory is granted the status of a republic, territory, autonomous area or autonomous district. Next, the rules are established of granting Russian citizenship, and the status of the property assets and liabilities of the entering state and the period of the new member’s integration with the Russian system are determined.

On March 11 the legislature of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea adopted a declaration of independence. If the referendum produces a decision to the effect the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol should enter Russia, Crimea will be proclaimed as a sovereign state with a republican form of government.

 

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