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Crimean Parliament Shifts Referendum Date to March 16


The referendum on the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is being brought forward from March 30 to March 16.

An extraordinary plenary session of the autonomous republic’s Supreme Council passed a resolution on holding a Crimea-wide referendum on March 16, according to its press service.

The resolution includes the following points: 1. accede to the Russian Federation as an entity of that federation; 2. Set March 16 as the date of a Crimea-wide referendum (including Sebastopol) in which the following alternatives will be offered:

Are you in favour of Crimea being reunited with Russia with the status of an entity of the Russian Federation?

Are you in favour of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Crimea being restored, and of Crimea having the status of part of Ukraine?

The document makes it clear that whichever option gets the majority vote will be deemed a direct expression of Crimean the population’s wishes.

Ballot papers for the referendum are being printed in Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar.

The Crimean Supreme Council also sent a proposal to the Russian Federation’s president and the Federal Assembly of the State Duma to initiate procedures for Crimea to enter the Russian Federation as an entity.

It is yet to be clear how many members of parliament voted for this decision.

As we have reported, on March 2 the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office filed an objection in court to the Crimean parliament’s appointment of Sergei Aksyonov as prime minister of the autonomous republic. Kiev says his election took place in breach of the law.

On March 5, the Kiev District Administrative Court annulled the legal effect of number of decisions taken by the Crimean Supreme Council.

The Prosecutor general’s office states, “Given that the administrative court has cancelled these decisions made by the Crimean Supreme Council, any actions and decisions undertaken by Aksyenov as head of the Crimean cabinet or on behalf of it are deemed to be illegal and without legal foundation.”

Ukraine’s acting prosecutor general, Oleg Makhnitsky, has said that criminal actions have been launched against a number of politicians, including Aksyonov and Crimean parliament speaker Vladimir Konstantinov.

“Legal proceedings have been brought against these individuals for crimes against the state, undermining its territorial integrity, and other offences against the state under Section 1, Article 109 of the Criminal Code, which covers actions intended at forcibly changing or bringing down the constitutional system or a coup d’etat,” the prosecutor’s office says.

On March 5, the Shevchenko District Court in Kiev approved a request from the investigative agencies for the arrest of Aksyonov and Konstantinov.

This article republished from with kind permission. 
Original article in Russian. 


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