Nearly 22% of Russians living abroad voted in presidential election

The percentage of Russians living abroad or temporarily residing there who voted in the March 14 presidential election totaled 21.8%, according to Aleksandr Veshniakov, head of the Russian Central Election Commission.

As reported by a Rosbalt correspondent, Veshniakov told a press conference Monday that those figures were based on information compiled by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He said that in all, 288,641 Russian citizens living abroad participated in the election, out of a total of 1,326,000 registered voters, or 206,000 more than during the Russian parliamentary election of 2003.

According to Veshniakov, the most active electorate was in Armenia (71.5% of registered voters), in Georgia (about 69%), in Turkmenia (7.9%), and in the Baltic countries (25%).

He said that voting patterns had been slightly different abroad than for Russia as a whole, with President Vladimir Putin receiving between 62 and 90% of all foreign-based votes, and Irina Khakamada in second place with 10 to 24%. Those most actively supporting her were Russian citizens living in Israel, Canada, Poland, the United States, Finland and Germany.

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