CEC Chairman thinks it inexpedient to hold presidential election in Chechnya in October

Terrorist acts in Chechnya should not affect preparations for the elections of the republic's president, said chairman of the Russian Central Election Committee Alexander Veshnyakov in a conversation with journalists on Saturday.

Terrorists have intensified their activities "with one purpose, to disrupt political processes in the republic, to destabilise the society", he emphasised. However, it is important "to consistently fulfil the programme and plan of action supported by the Chechen people" at the recent referendum on Chechnya's constitution held in the republic, Veshnyakov believes.

"The tragic events do not make the situation easier, and its complications are obvious," he said. Yet "realising the danger, it is impossible to back down," he added.

In this connection Veshnyakov pointed to the necessity to prepare Chechnya's presidential elections "comprehensively".

At the same time, "it is not fully expedient" to hold the elections in October as the constitution stipulates, he believes.

According to the chairman, the most suitable time for holding the elections is December 2003.

Thus he proposes to hold presidential elections in Chechnya simultaneously with elections to the Russian State Duma. "I think it would be better to unite efforts for one election campaign," Veshnyakov emphasised.

He did not rule out a possibility of holding Chechen presidential elections simultaneously with elections of the Russian President. But elections in the republic should not be postponed further, Veshnyakov underlined. "It is time to create Chechnya's own authorities, responsible for Chechen people," he concluded.

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