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Russia election monitors snub U.S. presidential poll

by at 30/10/2008 21:02

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Central Election Com­mission is not sending any observers to monitor the U.S. presidential election scheduled for November 4, the top election official said on Tuesday.

Vladimir Churov explained the move saying that Russia had twice invited monitors from the U.S. Federal Election Commission, for December parliamentary elections and March presidential elections, but they did not come.

"The exchange should be mutual," Churov said.

The head of the Central Election Commission said there were certain difficulties in observing U.S. elections, as each state has its own election laws and there would be no sense in observing the polls unless Russia sent delegates to each state.

Churov said, however, that two Russian monitors had already departed for the United States as part of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) mission, which includes a core team of 13 international experts, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Another 48 observers are deployed in teams of two around the country. The observers are chosen from 20 OSCE participating states.

"The mission will assess the upcoming elections in the context of OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections, as well as national legislation," the OSCE said in a statement. 
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