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MOSCOW, September 14 (Itar-Tass) — The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has offered to delegate to Russia for the period of State Duma elections a group of 60 long-term observers. In addition, the organization considers it necessary to send 200 short-term observers for election day. Such recommendations are contained in a report by the OSCE ODIHR mission.
The document says that the bulk of the mission should be deployed in the Russian Federation for a period of six weeks before polling day and up to two weeks after the election.
On September 13 the head of the OSCE ODIHR, Janez Lenarcic, met with the chairman of the Central Election Commission, Vladimir Churov. At the meeting, in particular, the two men discussed the format and strength of monitoring missions. In the course of preparations for the federal election cycle of 2007-2008 between the CEC and the OSCE there emerged differences over the format of the mission. Russia’s CEC argued the ODIHR was politicizing the election observation process and applying double standards. It recalled that to elections in other countries the ODIHR usually sent far smaller observer missions.
This time, the CEC of Russia a few months ago dispatched messages to international organizations that monitor elections with a request for determining the observation format and the number of observers.