SP Senator Tiny Kox to lead Council of Europe post-election team in Russia

16 January 2012

SP Senator Tiny Kox to lead Council of Europe post-election team in Russia

From Thursday 19th January to the following Sunday, SP Senator Tiny Kox will be in Moscow to look into what lessons might be drawn from events surrounding last month’s parliamentary elections. Kox, who led the election observers’ mission, will now head a post-electoral team acting on behalf of the Council of Europe. Following his visit, the SP Senator will present his report on the elections to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which meets in Strasbourg.

Tiny KoxAccording to Senator Kox everything that could go wrong did go wrong in the run-up to the parliamentary elections of 4th December. “Beforehand and on the day of the elections scandalous manipulations took place. Since then an unprecedented number of Russians have taken to the streets in mass demonstrations in order to make their anger known. The question now is whether everything will carry on in the same old way or if something is moving in Russian society and in Russian politics.”

Since the elections a number of legislative proposals have been prepared aimed at making future elections fairer and more transparent. These proposals from President Medvedev and Premier Putin have not, however, inspired much confidence. The first litmus test will be the coming presidential elections. Scheduled for 4th March, these elections will see the presidential candidacy of Vladimir Putin up against a large number of competitors. His chances of being elected in the first round have been diminished somewhat by the events surrounding the parliamentary elections. In addition to the leaders of the established opposition parties, several newcomers have thrown their hats into the presidential ring. One of these is the billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, one of Russia’s richest business people. Almost all of Putin’s opponents have committed themselves to holding early parliamentary elections.

In order to draw up a balance sheet of developments so far, Senator Kox will hold meetings in Moscow with, amongst others, the new president of the State Duma, as the national parliament is known, as well as of all political parties and of every organisation which was involved in the monitoring of the elections. In addition, he will speak with the controversial chair of the Electoral Council, whose resignation is one of the central demands of the opposition and of the demonstrators.
Senator Kox will present his report in Strasbourg on 23rd January in front of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in which are represented forty-seven European states, including Russia.

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