Russian Embassy to open 9 polling stations in Estonia for Duma elections (3)
The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Tallinn will be opening nine polling stations in Estonia to enable the approximately 85,000 Russian citizens living in the country to vote in the Sept. 18 elections of the State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia.
There will be four polling stations open in Tallinn and Narva each and an additional one open in the Southern Estonian city of Tartu, Alexander Oreshenkov, head of the consular department at the embassy, told BNS on Thursday.
Oreshenkov said that the number of polling stations will be the same as during the previous Russian parliamentary elections five years ago, as the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has forbidden the opening of polling stations on premises outside of buildings belonging to the Russian Embassy.
Russia maintains an embassy in Tallinn, a consulate general in Narva and a consular office in Tartu.
Oreshenkov also noted that Russian citizens living abroad have no right to run for a seat in the State Duma.
Russian laws do not forbid Russian political parties from campaigning abroad, however. "They can stage pre-election events, but on their own, not with the help of the embassy or the consulate," he said.
Ballots will be counted manually, as they were during the 2007 and 2011 elections.
In the previous State Duma elections held in December 2011, 19,000 out of the 125,000 eligible Russian voters at the time cast a ballot in Estonia.