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Head of Russia’s CEC complains about PACE delegation

November 16, 2011, 12:44 UTC+3
The CEC is not happy about the criticism of the elections in Russia, expressed by Koks and by member of PACE’s commission Marietta de Purbe-Lundin
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Head of Russia’s Central Elections Commission /CEC/ Vladimir Churov sent on Tuesday to the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Interior Ministry an address demanding check lawfulness of actions of the delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe headed by the Netherland’s deputy Tini Koks, who worked in Moscow a week earlier. The Kommersant writes that the reason for the demarche could have been a claim from United Russia. The CEC is not happy about the criticism of the elections in Russia, expressed by Koks and by member of PACE’s commission Marietta de Purbe-Lundin.

Speaking at a meeting of the social committee For Honest Elections, Vladimir Churov said that the CEC, having studied “activities” of the PACE delegation during their visit to Moscow, revealed “signs of violations of the RF’s legislation.” The CEC refused to explain to the newspaper, what it was that did not satisfy Vladimir Churov, saying “The prosecution will find out what the claims were about.”

According to the newspaper’s source close to the commission, the reason for dissatisfaction of the head of CEC was the news conference of November 11 on results of the work in Moscow, where Tini Koks and his colleagues participated. Referrring to representatives of Russian parties and the civil society, Mister Koks spoke about “serious problems” with equality of the election participants, threat of using the “administrative resource” in favour of United Russia and expressed concerns about possible manipulations with the voting results. At the same time, a member of the PACE delegation Marietta de Purbe-Lundin, while answering a question about use of the administrative resource, gave as an example the promotional posters of the Moscow election commission, which are similar to agitation posters of United Russia. She said straightforwardly that “this should not happen.”

According to the CEC, the law on election of the State Duma deputies bans foreigners interfere with elections in Russia. The five members of the PACE delegation came to the Russian Federation without an official status of observers. The 40 people, who will come to Russia for a short-term observance of the elections, have not been accredited as yet by the CEC. A member of United Russia’s General Council Ruslan Gattarov told the Kommersant that Mariette de Purbe-Lundin and Tini Koks, who allowed themselves the critical speeches, may be refused accreditation. As he said, all the 40 observers “have nothing to do with it.” “There are the two speakers who I would punish,” he explained.

The newspaper reports that on Monday, the United Russia Party sent a claim to the CEC about the actions undertaken by the PACE delegation, asking “to undertake measures in compliance with the RF’s legislation on elections, including barring of such violations in future.”

“Unlike the previous CEC, the present one, chaired by Vladimir Churov, takes very negatively participation of international observers and searches for intrigues and sabotage against Russia,” head of the legal service at the Communist Party and deputy of the State Duma Vadim Solovyev said. “If a country wants Europeans to confirm legitimacy of elections, it is interested itself in inviting observers.”

The newspaper writes that in early September of 2011 President Dmitry Medvedev told the CIS summit, while commenting on elections in the post-Soviet space, that the “main issue” is in “politicized approach” which OSCE observers demonstrate. The president stressed that “this approach very often is based on double standards.” However, there was an agreement with the new director of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights on a format of the monitoring, and thus the number of observers from the organization was lowered from 260 to 200.

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