Russians in Goa cast ballots from India

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 04, 2011 12:11 hrs

Panaji, Dec 4 (IBNS) With the voting underway in Russia to elect State Duma - Lower House of the Parliament, several Russians in Goa simultaneously cast their votes here through a special arrangement by the Russian government.

Russians either living or holidaying in Goa, who otherwise would have missed a chance, were allowed to vote in the office of Vikram Varma, legal counsel to the Russian Consulate in Mumbai, at Porvorim, five kilometers from the capital.

The electoral exercise occurred between 11am and 3pm in the presence of Russian diplomats deputed as 'observers' and Goa policemen deployed in and around the three-storeyed new office building.

The citizens coming to vote were asked to produce either 'leave of absence' or passport before voting.

"Because of the large number of Russians visiting Goa, the Russian government facilitated voting in Goa for the first time, which is not its embassy or consulate. Earlier, the Russian citizens had to travel either to Mumbai or Delhi to cast their votes," Varma said.

Roman Vorobiev, a diplomat from Russian Consulate in Mumbai and Eugene Kurilka, deputy head of the Russian Federation in India (Mumbai) were the observers.

The officials will transport the sealed ballot box to Mumbai and through diplomatic courier to Russia under strict security.

The voting went on peacefully, Varma confirmed.

(Reporting by John Edwards)

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