"The turnout at presidential elections has never been lower than at parliamentary elections in Russia," Mr. Veshnyakov told a Wednesday press conference.
In his words, practice shows that the turnout is as a rule 5-8% higher at presidential than at parliamentary elections.
Last December, about 55% of the voters took part in the State Duma elections. Mr. Veshnyakov forecasts the same thing for this year.
"The voters realize that these are very important elections - the elections of a person vested with tremendous authority," the CEC head said. In his opinion, most voters will "vote for real candidates and not virtual candidate 'against all'." Mr. Veshnyakov called the appeal to boycott presidential elections, voiced yesterday by Russian public committee "Elections-2008", "destructive." In his opinion, such proposals will hardly be understood by the voters.
Mr. Veshnyakov said there are no problems that could make one doubt preparation for elections in the regions.
He said the Central Election Commission will hold on March 10 an all-Russian intercom conference on whether the country's election system is ready for the presidential elections. Some 100,000 members of all level election commissions will take part in the conference.