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OSCE To Monitor Tajik Parliamentary Elections

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says it will send observers to the upcoming parliamentary elections in Tajikistan.

Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, the current OSCE chairman in office, has designated Italian parliamentarian Marietta Tidei as the special coordinator to lead the short-term OSCE observer mission for the March 1 election.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation will include nearly 50 parliament deputies from 23 OSCE countries.

It will work with long-term observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

Tidei said in a statement that Tajiks "deserve the opportunity to hold an open and vibrant dialogue on the future of their country through these elections."

Tidei, who was in Tajikistan for the 2013 presidential election, said she hopes to report "improvements" when the OSCE reports its conclusions on the parliamentary election after the vote.

Elections under President Emomali Rahmon -- who has ruled Tajikistan since 1992 -- have been judged to be neither free nor fair by international monitoring groups.

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