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    CEC FORECASTS LOWER VOTER TURNOUT AT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS THAN IN 2000

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    MOSCOW, February 16 (RIA Novosti) -Vladimir Lysenko, a member of the Central Election Commission, said that voter turnout at the presidential elections on March 14, 2004 would be lower than in 2000.

    "Turnout at the presidential elections will be lower than in 2000, that is to say, under 70%," he stated at a round table meeting in RIA Novosti. According to him, the question: "How much smaller this turn out will be," is moot. Mr. Lysenko said turnout may be 60-62%.

    He said that one of the main reasons for the potentially low voter turnout is "with some exceptions, the parties nominated relatively unknown candidates." "This substantially changes the dynamics of the election campaign," Mr. Lysenko said.

    In his opinion, "it is most likely that there will not be another poll at the presidential elections." Mr. Lysenko is sure "the elections will end in one round."

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