Nashi Sues OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

Nashi youth wearing gas maskThe Commissioner of the pro-Kremlin “Nashi” youth movement, Konstantin Goloskokov, is filing a lawsuit against the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA). According to, the suit contends that the Assembly disseminated information which doesn’t correspond with reality and which slanders Russia. The OSCE served as a major international observer of the December 2nd State Duma elections.

On December 3rd, Goran Lennmarker, the chairman of the OSCE PA, criticized the Duma elections at a press-conference of electoral monitors:

“These elections failed to meet many of the commitments and standards we have in the OSCE and Council of Europe. Merging of the state and a political party is an abuse of power and clear violation of international standards…

“The elections took place in an atmosphere which seriously limited political competition and with frequent abuses of administrative resources, media coverage strongly in favour of the ruling party, and an election code whose cumulative effect hindered political pluralism.”

The Assembly also noted difficulties that the monitors encountered at various polling stations.

Nashi and Goloskokov are demanding a retraction of the statements, and compensation to Russia in the sum of 353 million rubles.

“Golos,” a Russian organization which also tracked the elections, released a report of major irregularities on December 4th. During the vote, Golos opened nationwide hotlines where voters could call in problems they encountered. The violations included restrictions on monitors (23%), illegal campaigning (22%), irregularities in voter lists (15%), coercion to vote and pressure on voters (11%), as well as lack of privacy at the ballot box (9%). 4% of the electorate reported bribes or lottery drawings offered to voters, and a full 15% reported other violations.

The Golos statement also gives the organization’s conclusions on the contest. The facts of the electoral campaign, the voting process, and the impossibility of verifying counts (due to the barring of monitors from certain polling stations and widespread refusal to share voting records), “allow ‘Golos’ to put in doubt whether the elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation correspond to international standards of free, fair and open elections.”