Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 16

The OSCE is sending seventy observers to Chechnya for the January 27 elections. They will fly to Moscow tomorrow and continue to Grozny on Saturday. The biggest contingent is being provided by Switzerland, which is sending ten monitors. Norway and Lithuania are each sending six; Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Germany five each; Moldova, Poland and Slovakia four each; the Czech Republic two. There will be one Latvian and one Bulgarian. France, Austria and Britain are also sending monitors. (Itar-Tass, January 21; RFE/RL, January 22)

Russian Security Council secretary Ivan Rybkin appealed to the Russian parliament on January 20 to change its mind and to send its own delegation to observe the elections, arguing that monitoring was necessary to ensure that democratic norms are maintained. (Russian Radio, January 21) So far, the only response has come from the governor of Nizhny Novgorod oblast, Boris Nemtsov, who said yesterday that he was keen to go to Chechnya as an observer. He said the upper house of the Russian parliament, of which he is a member, should send a delegation. (Itar-Tass, January 22)

About 500,000 people will be eligible to vote in Monday’s elections, according to Chechnya’s Central Election Commission. Voters’ lists were delivered to polling stations Wednesday. No solution has yet been reached to the problem of refugee voting. (Itar-Tass, January 22)

Kokov Inaugurated President of Kabardino-Balkaria.