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Duma polls passed without necessary conditions for fair rivalry

January 12, 2012, 16:32 UTC+3
The refusal of the Justice Ministry to register several political parties narrowed the choice for the voters
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STRASBOURG, January 12 (Itar-Tass) —— The December elections in the State Duma were held without necessary conditions for a fair competition, the election process passed in favour of the ruling party, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) said in its final report on Thursday.

The election process passed in favour of the ruling party. The lack of independence from election bodies, the biased position of most mass media and the improper interference of state authorities at various levels point to this fact. All these factors did not provide necessary conditions for a fair competition at the elections, the OSCE ODIHR report runs. The quality of the election process deteriorated substantially during the vote count, which was made with numerous procedural violations and the cases of blatant falsifications, including several cases of injecting false ballot papers, the authors of the final report said.

The refusal of the Justice Ministry to register several political parties narrowed the choice for the voters. The observers noted an inequitable attitude to the runners in the elections from the election bodies and local authorities in favour of the ruling party. During the election campaign the difference between the state authorities and the ruling party was frequently vague on part of public and local officials, which abused the office to make the chances of one party higher than those of other parties, the OSCE ODIHR said in the final report.

Meanwhile, the Russian authorities exposed to threat the participation of an observer mission from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The OSCE ODIHR experts stated with satisfaction that during the opposition rallies, which were staged on the Bolotnaya Square on December 10 and on the Academician Sakharov Avenue on December 24, “no protesters were detained.” Meanwhile, during the protest actions in other cities about 20 journalists were detained in the performance of their duties, two journalists were accused of the denial to fulfil the police demands,” the OSCE ODIHR said in the final report.

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