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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

OSCE Head Reports Chechnya's Elections Fair

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, gave a clean bill of health Thursday to Chechen elections that brought separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov to the presidency.

"I can say that these were democratic and free elections," Tim Guldimann, head of the OSCE mission in Grozny, told journalists in Moscow. "This is the conclusion of the OSCE and other observers."

The OSCE sent 72 election observers to Chechnya. They reported some minor problems of electoral procedure but "no serious infringements with effect on the overall results," according to an OSCE statement.

Guldimann emphasized that the elections did not reflect on the question of Chechnya's status within the Russian federation.

The fact that Moscow had allowed an internal question to be resolved according to international standards with the help of international organizations, added Guldimann, was "an important element of the democratic process of the Russian Federation."

The issue of an amnesty for those involved in the war remained to be settled, he said, expressing the hope that, with the elections out of the way, there would be progress on this question.

The OSCE mission would remain in Chechnya assisting with political and humanitarian issues, said Guldimann.