A polling booth in Thiruvananthapuram for Russian polls

On Sunday, Thiruvananthapuram will play a small but meaningful role in the keenly awaited elections to the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.

Around 25 Russian nationals residing in Kerala are expected to cast their vote at a polling station specially set up in the Honorary Consulate of the Russian Federation at the Russian House in the city.

Polling will kick off at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Ratheesh C. Nair, Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation, said. “The electors include tourists, business persons and Russian citizens who have married Keralites and live here,” he said. Voters are required to produce their passports to establish their identity. The COVID-19 protocol will be strictly observed throughout the exercise, he added.

Ballot papers, not EVMs

Unlike elections in India which have switched over to electronic voting machines (EVM), ballot papers will be seen in use at the Russian House. The ballots have reached Thiruvananthapuram via the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Chennai, and will be despatched to Moscow via the same route after Sunday’s polling.

In Kudankulam

In Russia, elections of deputies to the State Duma will be held from September 17 to 19. It is held slightly earlier in foreign locations. For instance, the polling at the Kudankulam in southern Tamil Nadu, where Russian engineers work at the nuclear power plant, was conducted on Saturday.

In all, 450 seats are at stake in the elections. In 225 of them, deputies will be elected from federal constituencies from 85 federal subjects which include Oblasts, republics, regions and federal cities. To the remaining 225 seats, voters will cast their votes for political parties. The parties will propose deputies to the State Duma depending on vote share.

Apart from the Honorary Consul, two senior officials from the Consulate General in Chennai, Sergey Lagutin, Consul, and Alexei Tarasov, Vice Consul, and Russian House assistant director Kavita Nair will oversee Sunday’s polling.

Earlier instance

This is not the first time that the Honorary Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, which also houses the Russian Cultural Centre, is opening a polling station for the Russian elections, Mr. Nair said. The first time Thiruvananthapuram played ‘host’ was in 2013, for the Russian presidential elections. Polling stations were opened here for the previous elections to the State Duma in 2016 and the 2018 presidential elections as well.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 1:14:09 AM |

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