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U.S. Observers Say Russia Election Was Fair

Moscow, June 17 (RFE/RL) - An American senator leading a delegation monitoring Russia's presidential election says yesterday's voting was fair and further proof that Russia's democracy is developing deep roots.

Senator John McCain of Arizona told a news conference in Moscow today that there were "isolated reports" of lax procedures at the country's polling stations. But overall he said they have n-o evidence of systematic irregularities.

McCain leads a 35-member delegation from the U.S.-funded International Republican Institute (IRI). IRI monitoring teams were deployed in Arkhangelsk, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, St. Petersburg, Volgograd and Voronezh.

Another member of the IRI delegation, former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, criticized what he called bias in Russian media coverage of the candidates. He also called for campaign finance reform saying better tracking is needed to indicate, "where the money is going and who it came from."