Upon the decision of the Bureau of the Assembly and at the invitation of the Russian authorities, an ad hoc committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) met in Moscow, on 17-20 September 2021, in the format of an Election Assessment Mission composed of the representatives of all five political groups. A legal expert of the Venice Commission provided advice to the delegation.
In the absence of a fully-fledged International Election Observation Mission, the Assembly’s ad hoc committee was not in a position to conduct an election observation. It did, however, have the opportunity to visit a number of polling stations in Moscow and the Moscow region on 18-19 September 2021.
Building upon the information collected within the framework of the remote pre-electoral meetings, the findings of the Venice Commission, as well as in situ meetings with political stakeholders, the Central Election Commission, and domestic observers and civil society organisations, the aim of the Election Assessment Mission was to assess the general atmosphere around the elections.
The delegation appreciated the good co-operation of the authorities as well as the generally smooth voting process on the election days, while noting concerns, notably expressed by certain political stakeholders, about the electoral framework and environment which appear to have impacted the electoral process. These will be summarised in a memorandum for the Bureau and feed into the report on the honouring of commitments and obligations by the Russian Federation.
The Election Assessment Mission expects the Russian authorities and the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to continue co-operation and political dialogue with the Monitoring Committee so as to address the long-standing issues relating to the electoral framework, process and practices.
Composition of the delegation:
Pierre-Alain Fridez (Switzerland, SOC)
Joseph O’Reilly (Ireland, EPP/CD)
Jacques Maire (France, ALDE)
Alberto Ribolla (Italy, EC/DA)
George Katrougkalos (Greece, UEL)