Tatar leader says Crimean Tatars boycotted “referendum”


М.Джемілєв: 99% кримських татар бойкотували "референдум"

Kyiv, March 16, UNN –In Sunday’s pseudo-referendum in Crimea, 99% of the Tatars did not vote, and the actual voting turnout was at no more that 30%, said the former head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev, as reported by UNN.

“To give you an example, I spoke with friends in Bakhchysarai. They told me that at a maximum, only 30% of the people voted. However, officially they’re announcing a 64% turnout.  In Bilohorsky district, the turnout was also around 30%. Therefore, announcements on how and who is voting in this ‘referendum’ have no meaning whatsoever. Officially, only the figures deemed necessary are shown,” Dzhemilev said.

He also noted that it is not simply a question of Crimean Tatars boycotting the “referendum.”

“It’s in the general population. Mejlis representatives visited many polling stations in Crimea and they report that the population turnout was around 30%. Maybe somewhere in the cities where there is a more Russian-speaking population, such as Kerch, the turnout was as high as 50%. However, this is doubtful. Even when elections are held for local authorities and generate much interest,  even then the voter turnout is in the vicinity of 52%,” he said.

In addition, he noted that the overall turnout of the population in Crimea, especially in districts with large populations of Crimean Tatars, could not be 70%. “When you have a boycott of the ‘referendum’ announced by the Crimean Tatars, you’re talking about a third of the population. To then claim a turnout of 70% is ridiculous.  But it’s very difficult to predict what will happen tomorrow. So far, the situation is very tense,” he concluded.


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