The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has announced that it will be sending its 70-person mission back to Moldova to monitor the July 29 election. It is no doubt a source of great joy to the communist party that such paragons of democracy as Turkmenistan and Belarus will be sending their finest to put their seal of approval on the PCRM's victory.
Realistically, however, this mission has zero credibility:
1. In their report on the April 5th election, they gave it a clean bill of health, despite the numerous anomalies documented by the opposition, independent media and even the OSCE.
2. Of all the members of the CIS, the only one that can really be described as a democracy at this time is Ukraine.
3. In their findings on other elections observed, the true assessment criteria of this mission appears[ to have little to do with the freeness and fairness of the process, as with the acceptability of the result to the CIS's dominant member, Russia.
In a sense, there's no point having this team actually show up in Moldova. A lot of money could be saved on hotel and restaurant bills if they stayed at home and simply produced two versions of the report ahead of the election - one praising the electoral process in the case of a communist victory and the other lambasting it should the opposition win.
On the other hand, Moldova needs all the money it can get at the moment, so please do come and enjoy our hospitality, fine wines etc. just don't get upset if we're not interested in your opinions.