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Russian electoral authority reaches out to 95 countries for election observers

CEC Chairwoman Ella Pamfilova noted that, according to a CEC forecast, "500 to 1,000 international observers from more than 100 countries" may arrive

MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has invited observers from 95 countries to monitor the March presidential election, CEC Chairwoman Ella Pamfilova said at a commission meeting.

"The Central Election Commission, which is authorized to send invitations, has invited our partners in 95 countries, based on bilateral agreements and cooperation with national election commissions," Pamfilova said, adding that, according to a CEC forecast, "500 to 1,000 international observers from more than 100 countries" may arrive.

The Russian election chief also gave special thanks to Russian Ombudswoman Tatiana Moskalkova. "As far as I know from my conversation with her, her counterparts from other countries are showing a large interest in the coming election, and ombudspersons from at least two dozen countries may arrive as international observers," Pamfilova said. "We are currently formalizing this status, as we have also started work to accredit them," she emphasized.

"We think that representatives from at least 13 to 14 international organizations may arrive, and, in general, we have the mandate to send out invites to international observers, say, to those who hold observer status," Pamfilova added.

Meanwhile, the Federation Council, too, has sent "a large number of invitations" to international observers ahead of the presidential vote, the speaker of the upper house of Russia’s parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, said, opening the spring session.

"We are interested in the arrival of foreign parliamentarians and foreign experts as observers for the election. We have already sent a large number of invites on behalf of the Federation Council," the senior Russian senator said, adding that she hoped these invitations would be met with a positive response.

Russia will hold its presidential election on March 17 with voting taking place over three days from March 15-17.