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  Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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The leader of Russia's ultra-nationalist LDPR party said Wednesday foreign experts must not be allowed to monitor elections in Russia as their "meddling" could be destructive
The leader of Russia's ultra-nationalist LDPR party said Wednesday foreign experts must not be allowed to monitor elections in Russia as their "meddling" could be destructive. "We must not allow foreign observers from the OSCE, the European Union or the Council of Europe to participate in Russian elections," said Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who is also a deputy speaker of the lower house of parliament, the State Duma. The flamboyant lawmaker said foreign observers had contributed to unrest in Ukraine and Georgia, referring to the velvet revolutions in the ex-Soviet states in late 2004 and 2003 respectively, when pro-Western governments came to power. "In those countries, where foreign observers have worked, we have witnessed the consequences, primarily [foreign] meddling in their affairs," Zhirinovsky said echoing Moscow's accusations of interference by the U.S. and other countries in its "zone of influence." Imposing a Western-style democracy on other countries leads to a situation like that developing in the Middle East, Zhirinovsky said. "We are witnessing the Middle East model of democracy, when elections are held against the backdrop of artillery and missile attacks," he said, adding that the United States, France and Britain has never invited experts from other countries to monitor their elections. Earlier in March, Russia held regional elections, when Kremlin-backed United Russia consolidated its grip on most legislatures. They are seen as a "rehearsal" ahead of general elections to the State Duma in December and a presidential poll in March 2008. Local polls were held in the wake of legislative amendments that raised the vote threshold for the State Duma, increased membership requirements for political parties, abolished the 20% threshold for voter turnout and canceled the "against all candidates" option on election ballots. The Kremlin said the changes were needed to safeguard the development of Russian democracy from irresponsible marginal parties, but rights groups slammed them as undemocratic.
Print The leader of Russia's ultra-nationalist LDPR party said Wednesday foreign experts must not be allowed to monitor elections in Russia as their Bookmark The leader of Russia's ultra-nationalist LDPR party said Wednesday foreign experts must not be allowed to monitor elections in Russia as their

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