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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement


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Press Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman
August 21, 2000

Elections To Choose A New Duma Deputy For Chechnya

The Russian Government on August 20 conducted elections to choose a new Duma deputy for Chechnya. This seat has been vacant since 1996. Final results are not yet available.

It will be difficult to make any judgment on the conduct of this election under conditions prevailing in Chechnya. Voting took place without international observers present and amid a continuing conflict.

The United States believes that elections in Chechnya can help bring about reconciliation and the strengthening of democratic institutions. However, to allow the broadest possible participation, adequate guarantees of security and greatest transparency, it would be far better for elections to take place in conjunction with a political settlement.

[end of document]

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