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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

OSCE Observers Arrive For Presidential Poll

RIA Novosti

01:45 29/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 29 (RIA Novosti) - Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will arrive in Russia later on Wednesday to monitor presidential elections on March 4, the spokesman for the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has said.

The 160-member delegation will leave Russia immediately after the vote, Jens Eschenbacher told RIA Novosti. He did not elaborate on the locations where the monitors were planning to work.

Forty long-term OSCE/ODIHR observers responsible for monitoring the election campaign have been working in Russia since mid-January. According to mission head Heidi Tagliavini, the monitors will remain in the country until late March.

A monitoring mission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is expected to arrive in Russia on March 1. PACE and OSCE observers are expected to announce their election monitoring results during a joint news conference on March 5.

Five candidates – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, nationalist LDPR party head Vladimir Zhirinovsky, A Just Russia party leader Sergei Mironov and billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov – will compete for Russia’s presidency in the March 4 vote.

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