Russia Stalls on Inviting Elections Monitors

The Agence France-Presse reported on October 18th that election monitors have yet to receive an invitation to observe the upcoming Russian Parliamentary elections in December. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also noted that starting this late in the game could cause problems for its efforts.

The article quoted Urdur Gunnarsdottir, spokeswoman for the elections division of the OSCE:

“We haven’t gotten any invite yet. We’ve received assurances from Russian representatives that an invitation will be forthcoming, but we haven’t had one.”

“The elections were called in early September. So this is indeed getting quite late. And the later we get the invitation, the more difficult it is for us to do it in a proper way.”

As a member of the OSCE, Russia is obligated to invite electoral monitors. Unfortunately, it appears that Russia’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC) is stalling, and that by the time observers finally arrive, they won’t have time to prepare or judge the fairness of the elections in a thorough way.

In any case, there seems to be little or no chance of fair elections.  As we recently reported, the Other Russia coalition, and other opposition parties have been barred from the ballot.