Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 157

Observers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and other international organizations said Russia’s parliamentary elections were free and fair. (8) They said they had observed a number of infractions but that these were not serious enough to invalidate the elections. The worst breach of the election procedures, monitors told a press conference, was the broadcast on two Russian TV channels of a statement by Premier Viktor Chernomyrdin at a time when polling stations were still open. The observers said the broadcast gave the electoral bloc "Russia is Our Home" an unfair advantage over other parties. Chernomyrdin was not the only miscreant: canvassers for the Common Cause bloc openly campaigned for the alliance at polling stations, while monitors caught the commander of a military unit instructing his men how to cast their votes. Vladimir Lukin announced that, following the successful holding of the elections, the Political Commission of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly will recommended that Russia should be admitted to membership of that organization. (9) Russia’s membership will be considered by the Parliamentary Assembly on January 25-26, though Moscow’s military intervention in Chechnya is viewed as a serious obstacle by several member-states of the Council.

Chechnya: Russian Authorities Produce Electoral Victory While Fighting Continues.