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The formation of bodies of power in Russia's regions has been almost completed
The formation of bodies of power in Russia's regions has been almost completed, Chairman of the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) Alexander Veshnyakov said at a press conference on Monday. The CEC head confirmed that numerous election campaigns have resulted in the "formation of regional bodies of power in compliance with the local-self-government reform and they are ready to begin to exercise their powers." According to Veshnyakov, the fact that the number of municipalities has more than doubled - out of 24,210 municipalities 12,231 have already been formed, are indicative of the scope of the ongoing reform. Veshnyakov recalled that 21 Russian regions have held elections to local self-government bodies in the period from January to September 2005. However, most of the elections were held in October - residents of 57 Russian regions elected their bodies of self-government during the month. Eleven regions held their local self-government elections on October 30. As many as 90 percent of representative bodies of local self-government have been formed by the results of a large-scale election campaign. They will be able to start exercising their powers from January 1, 2006. Over 95 percent of heads of local self-government have been elected as well and some regions are holding second rounds of elections. Veshnyakov confirmed that the average turnout at these elections was some 43 percent. In rural areas this figure was considerably higher reaching 90 percent. According to the CEC, a total over 20 million of Russian electors have taken part in these elections. Over 60,000 district election commissions (there were 95,000 of them at the federal elections) took part in the organisation of the elections and some 500,000 people became members of election commissions.
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