O tell me the truth about the referendum


Crimea has took its decision. And it was an incontrovertible one. Some 83% of its inhabitants went to polls Sunday to express their will about the future of the (former) autonomous republic inside Ukraine, and 97% of them voted in favor of reunion with Russia. That’s quite a plebiscite. And yet somebody have something to say about it.

Crimea has took its decision. And it was an incontrovertible one. Some 83% of its inhabitants went to polls Sunday to express their will about the future of the (former) autonomous republic inside Ukraine, and 97% of them voted in favor of reunion with Russia. That’s quite a plebiscite. And yet somebody have something to say about it.

 

“Nothing in the way that the referendum has been conducted should convince anyone that it is a legitimate exercise. It is a mockery of proper democratic practice”, british Foreign Secretary William Hague said. And yet the referendum has been endorsed by countries like Syria, Venezuela and North Korea. Besides Russia, of course.

Well, we must admit that 97% is a little weird figure.  Let’s take stock of the situation. Crimea is inhabited by almost two millions of people, 58% of which are ethnic Russians, 24% Ukrainians and 12% Tatars. The latter have repeatedly stated they would never have voted for anything but being in Ukraine, and among the ethnic Ukrainians – we can suppose – there could be more than a mere 3% who don’t want become part of Russia. With a 1,5 million of eligible voters it means that some half a million of ethnic Ukrainian and Tatar of Crimea have voted to become part of Russia.

Besides the result, the turnout itself is another element of oddity. Considering the traditionally low election turnout in Crimea – for the last parliamentary election in 2012 went to vote only 49% of Crimeans – and repeated calls by the opponents to boycott the referendum, 83% of people going to polls was an exploit.

How was that possible?

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