OSCE / ODIHR observers at Moscow polling stations

RAW Video: OSCE/ODIHR Observers in Control of Voting Place -Second Round Presidential Election 2019

OSCE / ODIHR observers at Moscow polling stations

OSCE / ODIHR observers at Moscow polling stations

Foreign observers must be admitted to all stages of voting

On March 4, 160 short-term and 40 long-term observers from the mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe visit polling stations throughout Russia. International observers registered by the CEC must have access to all voting stages, including counting. Tonight, reports from more than 250 members of the mission will be collected in Moscow for processing.

The OSCE / ODIHR Mission has already worked in Russia for the Duma elections in December.

In Moscow, Mission Speaker Jens Eschenbacher and ODIHR Head Janez Lenarcic have been making short visits to voting points since the early morning. “We observe, we do not comment,” Lenarcic stressed again.

The meeting of the press and the mission took place at polling station # 38. Two observers, two vigilantes, guards, police and mandatory cameras were already present in the building of school No. 1259. At 13.30 they were joined by representatives of the foreign press.

It is interesting that during the elections to the Duma, polling station No. 38 was included in the “black list”. There were 400 registered violations. “Now this is just an exemplary site,” one of the observers from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation commented to the correspondent of the “Russian Service” of the “Voice of America”. “There is even some unhealthy excitement here today.” They did not know that the OSCE observers would pay a visit.

Jens Eschenbacher said the sites to be visited were randomly selected. The fact that this site was on the “black list”, he called a coincidence.

When asked by the Russian Service correspondent whether the missions had any violations (by the middle of the day, more than a thousand violations were recorded on webcams, according to the press), Janez Lenarcic refrained from making statements, recalling that a large joint press conference of international observers would take place the next day where the first results will be summed up.

“We have no right to share our personal opinions or doubts,” Lenarcic said, addressing the press at the site. – We have to collect facts. The only thing I can say now is that the mission received full support. We had no problems obtaining visas, the Central Election Commission easily registered us, we did not encounter any obstacles “.

Lenarcic called the introduction of 24-hour video cameras at polling stations “a potential step towards greater transparency,” but urged to wait with conclusions on how the presence of webcams will affect the election process itself, the counting of votes and the results.

Read more about events in Russia in the section “Russia”