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PACE delegation arrives in Russia to observe State Duma elections

December 01, 2011, 1:31 UTC+3

The meeting of the parliamentarians and Churov did not happen then

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MOSCOW, December 1 (Itar-Tass) —— A delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe /PACE/ is arriving on Thursday in Russia to monitor the elections to the State Duma.

The head of the mission of the observers is Tini Koks /the Netherlands/.

PACE deputies visited Moscow on November 8-11, and results of the visit aroused some questions from Russia’s Central Elections Commission /CEC/. CEC’s Head Vladimir Churov filed applications to the Prosecutor General’s Office and to the Foreign Ministry as he had seen in the mission’s actions “signs of violation of Russia’s legislation.” However, he did not give any details. Experts supposed that the applications may have been caused by the speech of the delegation’s head Tini Koks, where he commented to reporters the election campaign, and in particular the agitation. PACE, in its turn, said that the mission had acted and would act in strict compliance with international norms and existing practice in that sphere.

The meeting of the parliamentarians and Churov did not happen then. This time, it is on the agenda, PACE’s press service reports. Besides, the delegation plans to have meetings with leaders of the seven political parties participating in the elections to the State Duma, and with representatives of some nongovernmental organisations.

Other international organisations are also ready for monitoring of the elections. The CIS mission has started its work. 40 observers representing OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights /ODIHR/ have been working in Russia since late October, and on December 4, their 160 colleagues will join them. The delegation will be working in Russia’s 30 regions. On December 5, representatives of PACE and OSCE will participate in a news conference.

According to Churov, CEC has accredited 649 international observers, who represent missions of OSCE, PACE, CIS, SOC, and others.

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