Artorius Castus

Election observers for Russia stymied

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on November 16, 2007

By VANESSA GERA
Associated Press Writer

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — An international security organization said Friday its election observers would be unable to monitor next month’s Russian parliamentary balloting because Moscow had refused to issue them visas on time.

The development underscores the tensions with the West about the state of democracy under President Vladimir Putin. The standoff threatens to deepen Western doubts about the legitimacy of the Dec. 2 elections and harden Russia’s insistence that the West lacks the right to criticize how they are carried out.

Russia has already come under criticism because it had said it would allow the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to send only 70 observers – far fewer than in previous Russian elections – for the vote.

“We have not received a single visa for the 70 observers,” OSCE spokeswoman Urdur Gunnarsdottir said. “We have tried everything. … But we sadly now have to conclude that it is not possible.”

Putin is fixing the election and consolidating his power. Nothing has changed over there, just the flag..

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