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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 19, 2004. /RIA NOVOSTI/ -- The Russian Interior Ministry has set up a coordinating centre for the provision of law and order as well as public security during the preparations for and holding of the presidential elections, Deputy Minister Colonel-General Sergei Schadrin has said to reporters on Monday.

    "The centre will work in close contact with the Russian Central Election Committee. Before the election the police will take a set of steps to discover and cut short different violations of the election legislation. Information on them will be immediately passed to the election commission," Schadrin said.

    It is, above all, is the holding of unsanctioned election events, spreading leaflets blackening the honour and dignity of candidates, bribing voters, spreading propaganda materials in improper places, he explained.

    In addition, Schadrin said, the interior bodies will check the candidates' information on citizenship, residence registration, criminal record, participation in commercial activities, etc. Together with the Central Election Commission, the police specialists - handwriting experts, investigators, criminalists - will verify the truth of signatures in the signature-collection lists.

    During the election period, the police will do work on a higher-alert schedule. This intends increasing by one-third the number of patrols in the street, intensified protection of crucial facilities, railway and metro stations, public institutions, said the general.

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