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    RUSSIA'S MUSLIM LEADER COMES TO PRESIDENTIAL POLLS

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 14, RIA NOVOSTI - Ravil Gainutdin, head of the Russian Muftiyyate, came to the polls at 5 p.m. on Russia's presidential election. He voted at a polling station near home, at School No. 268, Meschansky district in Moscow's heart.

    "The right of choice has been granted us by the Almighty, and it is our duty to use that right. We must come to the polls to elect the one whom we shall entrust with our own fate, and that of our offspring and all our near and dear," the Mufti said to the media after the vote.

    "This is a multiethnic country with many religions. And we shall vote for the one who will come up for the rights of ethnic minorities and established religious communities." "I think Russia will carry on its democratic reforms and combat against graft," the Muslim leader remarked when asked what he expected of the current election.

    "It is up to the President to maintain law and order, and protect the entire nation's rights and interests," he rounded off the interview.

    All Primates of Russia's established religious communities have come to the polls today. His Beatitude Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia; Chief Rabbis Berl Lazar and Adolf Shayevich; and Sanzhei Lama of the established Buddhist sangha voted in Moscow.

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