January 28th, 2012 • At the invitation of the Russian parliament the Council of Europe will send observers to the presidential election scheduled for March 4th. SP Senator Tiny Kox, who led the team for the recent parliamentary elections, will be in charge once again.
This week Senator Kox delivered his report, in the Council of Europe’s seat of Strasbourg, on the parliamentary elections of December 4th. His verdict was negative: Russia is technically well-equipped to hold sound elections, but had failed decidedly to do so. Whether things will turn out better on March 4th remains to be seen.
In the wake of mass demonstrations the government and parliament have set in motion a large number of reforms to the electoral system. Whether these will prove sufficiently extensive and durable is yet to be proved, Kox told the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, of which Russia is one of forty-seven members. To look into the concrete proposals, he will return to Moscow on 7th February, staying until 12th. During this time he will meet with the candidates for the presidency, with the Electoral Council, the national ombudsman for human rights, international and national observers and journalists. Early in March he will be in Russia once again for the elections themselves.
“If you think nothing is happening in Russia, you’re wrong,” Kox said. “But if you think you know just what it is that is happening, you’re guilty of arrogance. Anything and everything is possible. It is fascinating, though sometimes also alarming. Throughout Russia masses of people are stirring, and the politicians are reacting to this. To ignore this is impossible, given its extent and its intensity. Let’s hope that the presidential election goes a lot better than did the parliamentary elections. Fair elections are good for everyone. For the future president, for the Russian voters and for the countries which are cooperating with Russia in the Council of Europe.”