Vladimir Popkov casts vote during Penza region gubernatorial election
Penza, 13 September 2015. PenzaNews. The board chairman of the Penza region department of the Russian political party “Rodina” Vladimir Popkov has cast his vote during the regional gubernatorial election on Sunday, September 13. He voted at the polling station No. 145 located in the arts college on Plekhanova street.
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The election candidate arrived at the polling station at 10.59, exactly 10 minutes after his competitor Zhigansha Tuktarov, who had already cast his vote by that time.
Unlike the member of the Liberal Democratic party who came to vote with his wife and daughter, Vladimir Popkov arrived alone.
According to a PenzaNews reporter who was present at the location, an unexpected situation occurred during the vote. An elderly person who had queued up for a voting ballot along with Vladimir Popkov expressed his resentment over the fact that the election candidate was surrounded by journalists.
“Why are they making his photos?” the person asked.
After these words, Vladimir Popkov chose to remain nonchalant, and received his ballot and went on to make his vote without saying a word instead of trying to defuse the situation.
During the talk with the journalists, Vladimir Popkov looked noticeably worried and affected by stage fright.
“I expect the future governor to make serious decisions to improve the lives of the Penza region citizens. They must be able to listen to people, to resolve the issues the people put up for the authorities to overcome,” he pointed out.
After one of the reporters asked Vladimir Popkov about his choice of vote, Vladimir Popkov declined to comment on it.
“No, I will not answer,” the election candidate said.
He also mentioned that the current gubernatorial election is a historical moment, as this is the first such occasion after many years.
“Of course this is a historical moment when people finally get a chance to express their attitude towards the election of the highest civil servant of the Penza region,” Vladimir Popkov said.
As PenzaNews agency reported earlier, September 13 is the day of the Penza region gubernatorial election, as well as special elections of deputies for local government bodies of several municipalities.
All 1,105 polling stations in the Penza region for the gubernatorial election opened at 8.00. They will remain operational until 20.00, at which point vote counting will begin.
The five officially registered candidates for the Penza region gubernatorial election are Vladimir Simagin (CPRF), Zhigansha Tuktarov (LDPR), Ivan Belozertsev (United Russia), Gennady Yeroshin (“A Just Russia”) and Vladimir Popkov (“Rodina”).
According to the Penza region Ministry of the Interior department, some 1,500 police officers will protect the public peace during the unified election day.
The Penza region election committee estimates the voter turnout for the gubernatorial election at 45-50%. However, as no minimum turnout level was set beforehand, the election will be deemed valid regardless of the eventual constituent turnout.
As of 18.00 of Saturday, September 12, the electoral registers of the Penza region include a total of 1,085,392 persons.
The previous public gubernatorial election in the Penza region were held in 2002, 13 years ago, when Vasily Bochkarev won the vote and went over for the second term, leaving behind his closest competitor Victor Ilyukhin, State Duma deputy for the Communist Party.