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    PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WAS DULY ARRANGED - OSCE MISSION HEAD

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    MOSCOW, March 15, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- The March 14 presidential election was held at the due level, Giulian Peel Yates, head of the Observation Mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told the press conference in Moscow on Monday.

    The Central Election Commission demonstrated a high level of professionalism and a high technical preparedness for the election, Mr. Yates said.

    Many positive aspects existed during preparations for the Russian presidential election, he said.

    There was a sincere desire to give a possibility to vote for the maximally possible number of electors, including considerable financial outlays for voting in remote areas and the flexible approaches to the setting up of special polling stations, the head of the OSCE mission said.

    He also noted the confident professional guidance by the Central Election Commission, whose work was open and efficient during the election campaign.

    Thus, the required conditions for openness and transparency of the election process have been created in Russia, Mr. Yates believes.

    At the same time, he noted that the election process did not in full reflect the principles required for the holding of a normal democratic election.

    Standards accepted by the OSCE countries for democratic elections were not in place. The competitiveness between different political parties was absent, the OSCE observer mission said.

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