Russia’s independent election monitoring group Golos will deploy 3,000 observers during Sunday’s parliamentary elections despite what it sees as a squeeze put on it by authorities, the organization said on Friday.
Golos, which casts itself as the only organization that can ensure independent election monitoring, said it has been coming under mounting government orchestrated pressure aimed at discrediting it and its findings.
Pressure is coming in “made to order” publications in the media, administrative action and outright provocations, the group said in a statement posted on its website.
Golos stressed that it is not a political party, not an agent of influence, not a government structure, not a Kremlin project or a money laundering vehicle.
“Any assertion to the contrary will be regarded as libel,” the group said.
Its principal aim, says Golos, is to make the ruling authority feel responsible before voters, therefore it will post about 3,000 observers to monitor the December 4 elections.
On Tuesday, lawmakers from three parliamentary parties asked that the group be investigated as an agent of foreign influence. The move came shortly after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused “representatives of some foreign countries” of using NGOs to “influence the course of the election campaign” in Russia.