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STRASBOURG, February 16 (Itar-Tass) — The situation in Russia in the run-up to the presidential election will again be among the main issues on the agenda of a European Parliament meeting. A plenary meeting of the supreme legislative body of the European Union will adopt a second resolution over the past two months that, in particular, considers the functioning of democratic institutions in the country.
“During the presidential campaign it is necessary to guarantee equal opportunities for all candidates,” says the draft document. “The procedure of registration of candidates for the presidency has again not allowed some candidates to take part in the election.” The European Parliament expressed regret over the denial of registration to Grigory Yavlinsky. “This situation does not allow his representatives to monitor the voting process,” Strasbourg officials said. The European MPs also urged the Kremlin to engage in a dialogue with the opposition.
“Concerns about the observance of human rights and generally recognised democratic principles, voting rules and procedures in Russia remain,” the document says. “The cumbersome procedures of registration of political parties do not meet the standards of the Council of Europe and OSCE, while denial of registration to political parties and candidates restricts competition and political pluralism in Russia. Despite the recent limited steps towards the improvement of the electoral legislation, the general rules remain too complicated. These rules are often applied inconsistently, resulting in discrimination against the opposition.”
In addition, the European parliamentarians particularly noted the facts “of the use of the national anti-extremism legislation in Russia against the institutions of civil society, in particular, the Memorial Human Rights Centre, have become more frequent.”
Finally, the European Parliament members called on the Russian authorities to ensure in the country work conditions for 600 international observers. Both international and national electoral missions should be deployed in the country for effective control over the election process, believe the authors of the document.
Earlier, the third largest political group of the European Parliament – the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) - put forward a proposal to freeze relations with Russia’s State Duma. According to observers, at present it is unlikely that this initiative will be supported in Strasbourg.