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    "OPEN AS NEVER BEFORE": ELECTION BOSS ON VOTE COUNT

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 14, RIA NOVOSTI - Vote count on the Russian presidential poll has the greatest possible openness and publicity, says Alexander Veshnyakov, Central Election Commission head.

    "Our information is open for the whole nation to see," he said while showing newsmen an electronic scoreboard at the Election 2004 information centre, which reflects the vote count on real time.

    "We are as open to the public as never before," he added.

    "If anyone wants to run ahead of us, they are welcome. It's healthy competition," remarked Mr. Veshnyakov when asked to comment a parallel vote count. Presidential hopefuls Nikolai Kharitonov, Irina Hakamada and Sergei Glazyev have arranged it on their united election headquarters.

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