#7 - JRL 7230
CEC CHAIRMAN DENIES ZYUGANOV'S STATEMENT
MOSCOW, June 19, 2003. /From RIA Novosti correspondent Alexandra Chebanu/--Alexander Veshnyakov, Chairman of Russia's Central Electoral Commission, thinks all political parties must join efforts to rule out suspicions that any foul play may be involved in the elections. At least, that is what he said on Thursday while commenting on Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov's statement that the upcoming parliamentary elections would be "the dirtiest, foulest elections ever." Veshnyakov insisted that new legislation must rule out "all attempts to falsify results of the elections." "We are now addressing all parties, asking them to choose representatives to spend the day at polling stations," he said. "They will be entitled to spend the whole day at the polling station to watch the voting process and attend the counting of the votes." He went on to invite media to attend the counting process as well.
As of today, according to Veshnyakov, a total of 41 political parties will be taking part in the elections. This number may grow by September 1, he said.
In order to take part in the elections, a party has to either gather 200,000 signatures of its supporters or deposit a pledge of 37.5 million roubles, or 1 million euros, which, as Veshnyakov put it, is an "insoluble task" for many parties.