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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Duma Campaign Coverage Criticized

Europe's main human rights body has joined an international chorus of concern about the transparency of the State Duma elections.

The head of a team from the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly said he was concerned that tight government control over national media could undermine fair play during the campaign for the Dec. 2 vote.

"We were repeatedly informed by our interlocutors that the ruling party [United Russia] almost fully controls the airwaves, and that is of course contrary to the positioning and the possibilities of the parliamentary and the democratic opposition," Luc Van Den Brande said at a news conference in Moscow on Friday.

"While the electoral legislation in Russia thus provides for equal media access to political protagonists, in reality the ruling party dominates the airwaves," he said.