Chechnya Administration Chief Meets Council of Europe Rights Commissioner

Chechnya administration chief Akhmad Kadyrov has acknowledged the necessity of opening polling stations in camps for forced migrants that are located outside the republic. Kadyrov came to that conclusion during the course of talks in Grozny Wednesday with the visiting Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Alvaro Gil-Robles.

Granted, noted Kadyrov, in conformity with the federal law governing the conduct of a referendum, polling stations were originally intended to be created in close proximity to forced migrants camps, but exclusively inside the territory of Chechnya. In addition, it was expected that transport would be provided to deliver forced migrants to polling stations.

But the Council of Europe Commissioner's arguments persuaded the administration chief that opening polling stations right in the camps "would only benefit the conduct of the referendum." "Indeed, it will enable the largest possible number of the citizens of the republic to take part in the referendum," Kadyrov said.

The referendum on the Constitution of the Chechen Republic is due to be held on March 23. Chechen Republic citizens will then face the question of whether they preferred the republic to be a presidential or a parliamentary one.