Great expectations: Poll observers welcomed

Russia expects international observers to come up with recommendations on the improvement of the country’s electoral legislation after the December 4 parliamentary election, says first deputy speaker of the Federation Council Aleksandr Torshin.

­“You have a long parliamentary tradition in your countries, and we would you not only to monitor the election, but also to put forward your suggestions on how, in your view, to organize this or that process,” Torshin said during a meeting with a delegation of international observers on Friday.

He also pointed out some local specifics which distinguish Russians voter behavior from Europeans. Torshin said that traditionally Russian citizens are more active during the presidential election.

“In this regard, Russia is different from all European countries, which have centuries-long parliamentary traditions, the countries which you represent,” the upper house deputy speaker observed.

Among other peculiarities he mentioned a certain apathy to politics in Russian society in general.

All in all, 650 international observers will be monitoring the election of deputies to the Russian parliament.

Aleksandr Torshin stressed that when it comes to observer missions, quality is more important than quantity:

“When we go to a country to monitor elections in the framework of the CIS Inter-parliamentary Assembly, we normally include deputies and senators, while other international missions like ODIHR and OSCE send experts,” he said adding that a mission comprising parliamentarians eventually proves more efficient.

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