Sunday, August 08, 2004
Was Jimmy Carter unavailable? From CNN (via Zemblan patriots J.M. and B.K.):
A team of international observers will monitor the presidential election in November, according to the U.S. State Department.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was invited to monitor the election by the State Department. The observers will come from the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
It will be the first time such a team has been present for a U.S. presidential election . . . .
Thirteen Democratic members of the House of Representatives, raising the specter of possible civil rights violations that they said took place in Florida and elsewhere in the 2000 election, wrote to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in July, asking him to send observers.
After Annan rejected their request, saying the administration must make the application, the Democrats asked Secretary of State Colin Powell to do so.
The issue was hotly debated in the House, and Republicans got an amendment to a foreign aid bill that barred federal funds from being used for the United Nations to monitor U.S. elections, The Associated Press reported.
In a letter dated July 30 and released last week, Assistant Secretary of State Paul Kelly told the Democrats about the invitation to OSCE, without mentioning the U.N. issue.