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    LOCAL ELECTIONS DUE ON SAME DAY AS PRESIDENTIAL VOTE

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    MOSCOW, March 04, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Elections of different levels of power are going to be held on March 14, the date of the presidential vote, in 75 federation members, said Chairman of the Central Election Commission Alexander Veshnyakov.

    In particular, he said gubernatorial elections were due in 10 federation members and elections of local legislatures - in six regions.

    Veshnyakov disagreed that the combination of local and presidential elections increased the chances of certain governors to be elected for a second term. "It will all depend on the authority of regional leaders and specific work," the Chairman of the Election Commission asserted. In his opinion, elections will not be restricted to one round in three out of the ten federation members where new governors are to be elected.

    As for regional elections of local legislatures, parties will face fierce competition in all the six regions, Veshnyakov predicted.

    "There is competition, serious competition, in six regions," he said. According to the Central Election Commission, five-ten parties are participating in the elections in each of the regions.

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