MOSCOW, September 21 (Itar-Tass) — The head of the Russian Central Election Commission plans to hold consultations with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in Warsaw on September 30 on the format of monitoring the upcoming Duma election, CEC secretary Nikolai Konkin said on Wednesday.
“It is planned to discuss at that meeting the numerical strength and format of the OSCE ODIHR observer mission” at the upcoming election to the State Duma lower house of parliament, due December 4, he said.
In preparations for the 2007-2008 elections there were contradictions on the format of mission’s work between the CEC and ODIHR. The Russian Central Election Commission accused ODIHR of politicising the process of monitoring the election and the use of double standards, noting that ODIHR sends rather small-size missions of observers to monitor elections in other countries.
This time, the CEC sent letters to international organisations monitoring the elections already several months ago. It asked them to decide on the format of monitoring and the strength of the missions.
On September 13, CEC head Vladimir Churov met with ODIHR head Yanesh Lenarchich. In its report, the Office offered to send to the Duma election all in all 260 international observers. Sixty of them will be in the long-term mission, and 200 – in the short-term (working directly on the election day).
However, the CEC was not satisfied with that offer. “We believe the number of observers from several CIS missions must be the same as the number of observers from the OSCE,” Churov said.
He specified that missions of PACE, the European Union, the CIS Executive Committee and the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly send 40 to 100 observers to monitor the election. Talks between the Central Election Commission and ODIHR were to continue in Warsaw on September 19.