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CHECHNYA LINKS LIBRARY

October 11th 2003 · Prague Watchdog / Adam Ledvina · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS · ALSO AVAILABLE IN: RUSSIAN 

Presidential elections in Chechnya cannot be considered free and democratic

Adam Ledvina, Prague - The Chechen presidential elections on October 5 took place without the presence of any creditable international observers or independent media. However, human rights activists and independent journalists who monitored the polling stations are confident that voter numbers and election results were falsified.

The pre-election campaign was neither free nor democratic, nor run in a true competitive spirit since all radio and television networks that broadcast throughout the country were controlled by Akhmad Kadyrov. And because Moscow made it evident from the start that it would only support and promote Kadyrov, all his serious rivals for the presidency (Jabrailov, Aslakhanov and Saidullayev) were gradually forced out of the race.

The sole aim of these theatrics was to give Kadyrov legitimacy. For in 2000, Moscow appointed him as its administrator of the republic, even though at that time the country had its own legally elected and internationally recognized president and parliament. So in not having the support of the Chechen populace, Kadyrov's "election" will not help achieve a peaceful solution to the Russian-Chechen conflict."

Elections in a land where its citizens are surrounded by federal troops (whose orders come from Moscow) and armed security guards of one of the candidates, cannot be considered to be free and democratic. And, therefore, it is not possible to regard the newly-elected Achmad Kadyrov as the legitimate president of the Chechen Republic.

(A/E,T)

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