European election observer attacks Russian poll rules

A senior member of Europe’s main human rights body launched an outspoken attack on Russia’s elections yesterday, three weeks before they take place, saying he had serious doubts that they would be free, fair, open, democratic or transparent. Luc van den Brande, who is leading a team of election observers from the Council of Europe, said that he was concerned by recent Kremlin changes to the electoral system – and by the fact that the ruling party had almost complete control over television coverage. Full Story

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