Moscow believes referendum on new Chechen constitution should be held with no delay

"Chechnya will not escape constitutional referendum," Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission Alexander Veshnyakov said Thursday to newsmen in Krasnoyarsk /Siberia/. The referendum is first of all necessary because the republic still lacks a legitimate law-making body, and therefore the nation's opinion will be necessary in adopting the republic's fundamental law with its citizens approval.

Alexander Veshnyakov also reported that the Constitution was still being drafted and the document was being coordinated with the federal legislative agencies.

At the same time, the head of the Central Electoral Commission does not agree that the referendum should be held next autumn.

"Haste will do no good in this case," he remarked and assumed that the referendum in Chechnya would be held in late 2003.