Buzek on the elections in Russia
European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek commented on the Russian parliamentary elections:
"I take note of the results of the parliamentary elections in Russia. I regret that the campaign for Sunday's elections was marked by limited political competition and a lack of fairness, as stated by the observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly.
I am disappointed that the European Parliament was again not invited to observe the elections in Russia, although it is a standard procedure in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe to involve the European Parliament in election observations.
Russian people deserve full-fledged democracy. The high turnout shows that Russian people care about their civic duties and rights. They deserve a free, transparent and fair election process.
I am concerned about the events following the elections: detention of dozens of protesting opposition activists, intimidation against the independent election watchdog Golos and the cyber attacks against leading independent news websites. I am very saddened by the news of the detention of the prominent anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny. I call for the immediate release of all those unfairly detained and for the end of the intimidation against the people who are legitimately calling for a fairer and freer political system.
I am alarmed by the lack of independence and partiality of the media as well as the frequent procedural violations and instances of apparent manipulations during the vote count.
We need to move-up one gear in developing our EU-Russia bilateral relations. We want our long-term cooperation to be based on democracy, the rule of law and freedom of expression."
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