26 October: Mission opens
30 October: Arrival of long-term observers
31 October: Briefing of long-term observers
1 November: Deployment of long-term observers across the country
30 November: Arrival of short-term observers
1 December: Briefing of short-term observers
2 December: Deployment of short-term observers across the country
3 December: Familiarization by short-term observers with areas of responsibility
4 December: Election day
5 December: Press conference on preliminary findings and conclusions
7 December: Departure of short-term observers
9 December: Departure of long-term observers
15 December: Departure of the core team
The Central Election Commission (CEC) of the Russian Federation invited the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) to observe the 4 December 2011 parliamentary (State Duma) elections. Based on the recommendation of the Pre-Election Assessment Visit, the OSCE/ODIHR deployed an election observation mission (EOM). The OSCE/ODIHR EOM assessed compliance of the election process with OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections, as well as with domestic legislation.
Elections to the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia’s bicameral parliament, have been called for 4 December 2011, following a presidential decree on 30 August.
Parliamentary elections will be conducted to elect 450 members to the State Duma for a five-year term from federal lists under a proportional representation system. Elections can be contested only by registered political parties; independent candidacies and the formation of electoral blocs are not permitted. To qualify for the allocation of mandates, political parties need to receive at least seven per cent of the valid votes. In addition, political parties receiving between five and six per cent of votes are granted one seat and those between six and seven per cent of votes, two seats.
OSCE/ODIHR last observed parliamentary elections in the Russian Federation in 2003. As a participating State of the OSCE, the Russian Federation has committed itself to uphold OSCE’s election commitments and to invite observers from OSCE/ODIHR to assess compliance with these standards.
Following the official invitation to observe the 4 December State Duma elections and based on the findings of a pre-election assessment visit conducted from 17 to 22 August, OSCE/ODIHR deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) for these elections. The Mission officially opened on 26 October.
The Mission is headed by Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini and consists of 14 experts based in Moscow drawn from 13 OSCE participating States. Forty long-term observers are expected to be deployed throughout the country by early November.
The mission will assess these elections for compliance with principles for democratic electoral processes, including commitments agreed to by all the OSCE participating States, as well as national legislation. Observers will monitor campaign activities, media coverage, the legislative framework and its implementation, the work of the election administration and relevant government bodies, as well as the resolution of election disputes.
OSCE/ODIHR has requested 160 short-term observers to be deployed immediately prior to election day. The short-term observers will be deployed throughout the country in multinational teams of two to monitor the opening of polling stations, the voting, the counting of ballots, and the tabulation of results.
For election day observation, the OSCE/ODIHR will join efforts with a delegation of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and other parliamentary partners. The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office has appointed Petros Efthymiou, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, as Special Co-ordinator to lead the short-term OSCE observer mission.
On the day after the elections, the Mission will issue a statement of preliminary findings and conclusions. A final report on the observation of the entire electoral process will be issued approximately eight weeks after the end of the observation mission.