20:31 27.02.2014

Number of Crimean deputies present at referendum resolution vote unclear

It is unclear how many of the members of the Crimean parliament were present at a session on Thursday that set a referendum for May 25 on a proposal for greater autonomy for the Ukrainian region and unseated the regional government.

The reason is there was no contact with the deputies who were in the session room when these decisions were made as the legislature and government had their websites paralyzed and telephones disconnected after an armed group seized the parliament building and government headquarters earlier on Thursday.

According to a member of the parliament presidium, Enver Abduraimov, the raiders took all communications devices from deputies who were entering the building. Abduraimov said that because of this he had decided not to go in.

Nor was there anyone from the parliament secretariat in the legislature's building when the referendum resolution was being passed and the government was being given a no confidence vote, the head of the Crimean branch of the Voters Committee of Ukraine, Andriy Krysko, told Interfax-Ukraine.

An Interfax-Ukraine reporter said journalists had learned about the two decisions by phone from the head of parliament's information and analysis department, Olha Sulnikova, who was talking from the office of the parliamentary chairman.

So it is impossible to find out whether all the 64 members of the 100-member legislature who were registered as present at when the two decisions were voted on or whether someone else used the plastic voting cards of some of them.

Earlier, Sulnikova said 61 of the registered 64 deputies had voted for the referendum resolution and 55 for the resolution to dismiss the government.

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