19 Mar 2018 17:22

Russian presidential elections lacked transparency - OSCE

MOSCOW/VIENNA. March 19 (Interfax) - The Russian presidential elections lacked transparency, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)'s international monitoring mission said in a statement on Monday.

"The process of handling election complaints lacked transparency," the statement said.

"Out of a multitude of petitions, the CEC [Central Elections Commission] deemed 420 to constitute complaints, but considered only two of them in public sessions and subsequently published rulings. The CEC informed the ODIHR that it had viewed most remaining complaints as lying outside its purview and directed them to other state authorities, as they related to the misuse of state resources," it said.

"Over 160 complaints were filed with the lower election commissions, concerning mostly the distribution of campaign materials, including leaflets calling for a boycott. Local election commissions ruled in a consistently restrictive manner that the distribution of such materials violated the law," it said.

"Election day was conducted in an orderly manner, despite shortcomings related to voter secrecy and procedures that reduced the transparency of the counting," it said.