Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

OSCE – Russia About Number Of International Observers

Posted by Info on 23/09/2011

Vladimir Churov, the head of Russia’s Central Elections Commission views the OSCE requirements as unacceptable and offensive for Russia because according to him, a large number of foreign observers is common only for “second-rate” countries that lack credibility abroad. While “first-rate” states invite relatively few foreigners to monitor elections, second-rate ones have more than 200.
No country wants to be second-rate, especially Russia,” Churov said. Elena Dubrovina, a member at the Central Elections Commission said that the number of long-term observers should be limited to 20.

But some experts believe that even 260 international observers is a small number for Russia.It is not clear why the Central Election Commission is reluctant to invite 260 international observers from the OSCE. After all, they are hardly likely to harm Russia, because, as a matter of fact, it’s not very many for such a big country as Russia.

The OSCE’s harsh criticism of the Russian parliamentary elections is primarily based on precedents. ODIHR members denounced United Russia, Russia’s ruling party, for using administrative resources to win the 2003 elections (about 480 foreign observers came to Russia back then). In 2007, the Central Election Commission invited only 70 ODIHR representatives and significantly delayed their invitations, which prevented them from monitoring the pre-election campaign. As a result, they refused to go to Russia and described the 2007 election as “unfair” and manipulated.

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