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    CEC ASKS INTERIOR MINISTRY TO ACTIVELY INVESTIGATE ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN FINANCING

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    MOSCOW, February 25, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Nikolai Makarov) - The Central Election Commission (CEC) adopted a resolution on Wednesday that asked the Interior Ministry to intensify its investigation of illegal presidential campaign financing.

    The CEC considered questions about its cooperation with the Interior Ministry's bodies and the ministry's activity during the election campaign. The CEC also asked the Interior Ministry "to pay special attention to the maintenance of public order, to ensure public security and to prevent extraordinary situations on the eve and on the day of the March 14 elections."

    In the resolution, the CEC recommended that the Interior Ministry "carry out thorough and timely checks of the data provided by the passport and visa services about the registration of Russian citizens in the places of their residence."

    At a CEC session, Deputy Interior Minister Andrei Shadrin reminded the audience that a coordination center had been set up in the Interior Ministry to ensure law and order and security in the pre-election period.

    According to Mr. Shadrin, the interior bodies have already launched ten criminal cases in connection with violations of election laws. Six of the cases are directly connected with violations of presidential election laws, specified the deputy minister.

    CEC member Vladimir Butayev said the interior bodies had received information about the existence of "a number of illegal organizations, which falsify signature lists, in particular, in support of Ivan Rybkin."

    According to Mr. Butayev, Moscow students, including foreign citizens, were engaged in this kind of falsification.

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