More Links in News & Events

The Carter Center Condemns Russian Federation Effort to Undermine Credible Election Observation

Contact: Deborah Hakes, 404-420-5124

"I am disturbed by the unprecedented restrictions to credible international election observation contained in the Russian Federation's invitation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) election observation body," said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, founder of The Carter Center.

The OSCE invitation was received last week, too late to deploy effective long term observers in advance of the Dec. 2 elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation.  The OSCE/ODIHR has a record of long-term observation through a standing invitation to its member states that have openly entered into a broad range of commitments that underscore democratic governance and guarantee fundamental civil and political rights. A conditional invitation that limits the number of observers and the duration of their stay could imply that there may be something to hide and runs contrary to the fundamental principle that an election is more than a one day event.

"The Russian Federation should facilitate the immediate deployment of observers to the Duma elections, or the value of an observer presence would be further diminished," said Carter. "I urge the Russian Federation to act in accordance with the spirit of the OSCE commitments and established practices. It is essential that these commitments not be diluted or weakened."

The actions appear to be an attempt to redefine existing political commitments under the pretext of formal legality and are part of a broader set of Russian proposals to limit all OSCE/ODIHR observation.  Most recently, the Russian Federation, joined by six other OSCE member states, have proposed restrictions that would limit the size of all OSCE/ODIHR observer missions, and place controls on the release of public statements.  

International election observation groups have reached a common understanding of the fundamental elements of credible election monitoring, including that the observer organization should be free to determine the scope and scale of its efforts for a meaningful observation exercise. 

The Carter Center shares the commitment of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and other organizations to the conduct of nonpartisan, professional election observation in accordance with international standards outlined in the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, adopted in October 2005 at the United Nations in New York.


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."

 The Carter Center celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2007. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. Please visit to learn more about The Carter Center. 

Donate Now

Sign Up For Email

Please sign up below for important news about the work of The Carter Center and special event invitations.

Please leave this field empty
Now, we invite you to Get Involved
Back To Top