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China Daily Website

SCO observers to monitor Russian election

Updated: 2012-03-01 20:37
By Hu Yinan and Wang Huazhong (

MOSCOW - An international group of observers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will monitor polling stations in the Russian capital during the upcoming presidential elections on Sunday, said a top SCO envoy.

“We take no sides. We’ll respect the results of the election, and acknowledge whomever the Russian voters elect on the basis of law. At the same time, we will point out any and all irregularities,” Zhang Deguang, leader of the Chinese observer team of six people told China Daily in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

The SCO is a permanent intergovernmental organization formed in 2001 in Shanghai by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

“Of course we’re concerned about the Russian election. We hope for Russian stability and development, and for good things for this country,” Zhang said.

Thousands of local citizens have volunteered to monitor the votes on Sunday, in the wake of a string of mass protests against alleged vote frauds in the December 4 election of the lower parliament.

Zhang said that no one can completely rule out irregularities, but the mainstream constituents and their votes will determine the election’s legitimacy. It is important for observers to understand the extent of Putin’s popularity among voters, he said, adding that although there are reports of many anti-Putin protests, an accurate judgment cannot be formed without on-site observation.