Staunton, September 12 – More than 99 percent of Crimean Tatars boycotted the Moscow-orchestrated referendum on transferring Crimea to Russian control, Mustafa Cemilev says. Now, as a result of enormous Russian pressure, 98 percent of them will not participate in Sunday’s election in their occupied homeland.
Cemilev, the longtime leader of the Crimean Tatar national movement who himself has been banned from entering his homeland by the Russian authorities, says that “of the 180,000 Crimean Tatars who have the right to vote,” only 700 to 800 or one half of one percent did so in the case of the referendum (http://inforesist.org/krymskie-tatary-namereny-bojkotirovat-vybory-v-krymu-dzhemilev/).
Now, he says, as a result of “harsh pressure” from the occupation authorities who have threatened that serious consequences will await those who do not vote and the calculation of some Crimean Tatars that they need to be represented in local bodies, a few more may do so. But overwhelmingly, they will again boycott this Russian-orchestrated election.
The Mejlis, he continues, “the representative organ of the Crimean Tatar people,” believes that “participation in these elections legitimizes the occupation authorities and that the election system [they have put in place] is such that there is no basis for talking about honest elections” in any case.