Disinfo: The OSCE has a task to fully discredit the Russian election

Summary

The OSCE election observers refused to come to Russia. According to the head of the Central Electoral Commission this is in relation to the fact that OSCE wanted to send 500 observers to Russia, when they only sent 33 to the US, which has twice the number of voters, - allegedly because of coronavirus.

I suppose this was a pre-planned step of the OSCE to give impossible demands, so as to refuse to observe the election later. Why?

"I think this is purely a political problem, as the organization is... under huge political influence. [...] There is a task to fully discredit our election. This is one of the steps to a priori shape the public opinion that our elections may be illegitimate."
Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about OSCE, the West and elections.

The OSCE made a decision not to send observers to monitor the Duma elections because Russian authorities had limited the number of observers it could send to the elections. OSCE institutions had been invited to observe the vote scheduled for 17-19 September 2021, but were subsequently restricted to sending a total of 60 observers. For the upcoming parliamentary elections in Russia, an OSCE needs assessment mission deployed in May to June 2021 found that a mission with 80 long-term observers and 420 short-term observers was needed to provide an independent credible assessment.

Matteo Mecacci, Director of OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, (ODIHR) commented on the matter as follows:

"We very much regret that our observation of the forthcoming elections in Russia will not be possible, but the ability to independently determine the number of observers necessary for us to observe effectively and credibly is essential to all international observation. The insistence of the Russian authorities on limiting the number of observers we could send without any clear pandemic-related restrictions has unfortunately made today’s step unavoidable".

Russian authorities cited the sanitary-epidemiological situation in the Russian Federation as the reason for the limitations. The OSCE said that no pandemic-related entry restrictions or rules about operating and moving within the country would seem to prevent the deployment of a full election observation mission in line with ODIHR’s initial assessment.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the OSCE/ODIHR has been able to successfully deploy several Election Observation Missions to other countries in a manner that respected the need to prevent the spread of the virus, protecting the observers’ and host countries’ public health.

Regd. the alleged parallel to the US: It is not true that OSCE sent only 33 election observers to the US in 2020. The international election observation mission for the general elections in the United States totalled 102 observers from 39 countries, made up of 50 ODIHR-deployed experts and observers, and 52 parliamentarians and staff from the OSCE PA.

In fact, the OSCE has sent observers for every US presidential election since 2002. Some 100 observers from the OSCE’s parliamentary assembly and office of democratic institutions and human rights (ODIHR) were deployed across the US to observe the 2020 election. As can be seen in the same link above, eighteen of the US states routinely denied access to OSCE observers, because the presence of international observers is against their local laws. This means that OSCE teams monitored the electoral process in at least 33 states this year.

See related disinformation claims, alleging that USA doesn't allow OSCE to observe its elections; The OSCE's refusal to send observers to the Russian elections aims to question its legitimacy later; West trying to interfere in Russia’s legislative elections.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 257
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/09/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: OSCE, Elections, West
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