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OSCE STARTS MONITORING UKRAINIAN ELECTIONS. The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has established an Election Observation Mission to monitor the 31 October presidential elections in Ukraine, the OSCE website (http://www.osce.org) reported on 6 September. The mission will be led by Ambassador Geert Ahrens. The mission will comprise 12 international experts based currently in Kyiv, who will be joined by 45 long-term observers based in regional cities throughout Ukraine. Shortly before election day, the ODIHR will deploy some 600 short-term observers across Ukraine. On the day after the election, the mission will issue a statement of preliminary findings and conclusions. A comprehensive final report will be released approximately six weeks after the completion of the election process. JM
UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT OPENS SESSION AFTER SUMMER RECESS. The Verkhovna Rada opened its plenary session in Kyiv on 7 September, Ukrainian news agencies reported. Lawmakers approved an agenda for the session, which includes some 1,300 bills and resolutions. The legislature rejected a supplement to the agenda proposing to hear a report by an ad hoc parliamentary commission on its investigation into the murder of Internet journalist Heorhiy Gongadze in 2000. JM