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Some Russian Olim Eligible to Vote

Up to 50,000 Russian immigrants in Israel are eligible to cast ballots in Sunday’s Russian national elections.

Former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, who now heads the Yisrael Ba’Aliyah Party, said he believed that most of the community would back incumbent Boris Yeltsin over his main rival, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov. “Of course, we don’t wish for the Communists to come back to power,” Sharansky said.

Sharansky, whose party won seven seats in the recent parliamentary elections in Israel, said Yisrael of Ba’Aliyah would continue to work to encourage Jews to emigrate from the former Soviet Union to Israel.

“Not that life should be so bad for Jews in Russia they would want to leave,” he said. “But I believe that all of the Jews there should live here.”

More than 600,000 Jews have immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union since 1989.

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