International watchdog cancels Russia poll plan

Election monitors from the OSCE will be unable to monitor the Russian parliamentary elections, due to delays and restrictions the organization's election watchdog said on Friday.

International watchdog cancels Russia poll plan
The ODIHR, the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, set out to fulfil "conscientiously" its mandate "in spite of the delayed receipt of an invitation from the Russian authorities to observe and unprecedented restrictions introduced in the invitation," the Warsaw-based organization said in a press release.

Entry visas for the planned deployment of 20 experts and 50 observers from the ODIHR were continuously denied, leading to the conclusion that Russia's authorities remained unwilling to receive ODIHR observers in a timely and cooperative manner and to cooperate fully, the OSCE election monitors said.

The ODIHR, already informed Russian authorities that it would be "unable to act upon their invitation to observe the December 2 elections to the Russian State Duma."

Russia in the past has accused the OSCE's election watchdog of focusing excessively on former Soviet republics in its monitoring activities. Last month Russia circulated a paper calling for changes in the ODIHR's work, effectively restricting the body.

The ODIHR deploys observation missions to the OSCE's 56 member states to assess implementation of commitments relating to free and fair elections.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Kasım 2007, 13:18