Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

European Parliament’ Sharp Resolution On Russians Elections

Posted by Info on 08/07/2011

The European Parliament called on Russia to guarantee free elections and lift curbs on an opposition party in a resolution Russia condemned as “crude” interference in its affairs.

A resolution passed with a clear majority by the parliament reiterated concerns about difficulties faced by parties in registering ahead of a December parliamentary vote, saying the restrictions were obstacles to political plurality.
Difficulties faced by parties in gaining access to elections “effectively constrain political competition in Russia, reduce the choice available to its electorate, and show that there are still real obstacles to political pluralism in the country.”

Russia sharply criticised the resolution.

The refusal to register the People’s Freedom Party barred some of the Kremlin’s most vociferous opponents from the December elections to the State Duma. The party’s leaders include Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister who has been arrested several times in recent years during protests, and Mikhail Kasyanov, who was prime minister in 2000-2004 during Vladimir Putin’s presidency but is now a harsh critic.

The European Parliament also urged Russia to allow in an election observer mission from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe. For the last State Duma elections, in 2007, the European groups sent only a bare-bones, short-term observer mission after a dispute with Russia over the matter.


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