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    OSCE OBSERVERS INVITED TO MONITOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN RUSSIA

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    MOSCOW, January 13 (RIA Novosti) - The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Russia has sent an invitation to representatives of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to take part in observation over preparations for and monitoring presidential elections in Russia slated for March 14, 2004.

    As newsmen were told in the CEC press service, the invitation was forwarded by CEC chief Alexander Veshnyakov to OSCE ODIHR Director Christial Strohal. In the letter the head of the Central Election Commission stressed that international monitoring of the elections stipulated by the Russian election legislation is an essential element of ensuring transparency and openness of the election process in Russia.

    Veshnyakov expressed the hope for further promoting mutually-beneficial business ties of the sides in ensuring election rights and freedoms of citizens.

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