DATE=3/27/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA / RESULTS (L) NUMBER=2-260655 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Newly-elected President Vladimir Putin will officially take over as Russia's second post-Soviet leader in early May. V-O-A Moscow Correspondent Eve Conant reports international observers have declared the election to be free and fair, but express concern about what they call media bias and abuses during the election campaign. TEXT: Russian television news on Monday showed a victorious Mr. Putin fielding personal calls from world leaders including British Prime Minister Tony Blair. /// PUTIN ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER /// Mr. Putin says, "I thank you for your call, Tony, but I must also thank the Russian voters for the choice they made. There is only one way to behave, and that is to speak openly and honestly about our problems and how to solve them." Mr. Putin did not seem concerned by comments from his Communist challenger, Gennady Zyuganov, who has accused the government of falsifying the results. /// OPT - ZYUGANOV ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER /// Mr. Zyuganov says "we respect the voter's choice, and that's why we're counting the results ourselves. We have organized a parallel counting system because we understand we are dealing with people who do not follow the law." /// END OPT /// International observers from the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe dismissed Mr. Zyuganov's claims and hailed the election as the democratic expression of the people's will. The president of the O-S-C-E parliamentary assembly, Helle Degn, called the elections free and fair, but said the process had been questionable. /// DEGN ACT ONE /// Our concerns have to be mentioned. One concern regards the fact that in some cases, candidate's campaign organizers and supporters circumvented, the new election law notwithstanding, the efforts of the Central Election Commission to enforce the election law vigorously. /// END ACT /// The observers would not specify the abuses mentioned Ms. Degn added media coverage to her list of concerns. Images of Acting President Putin dominated state run television in the weeks and months leading up the election, with little time for what Ms. Degn called genuine political debate. /// DEGN ACT TWO /// Important segments of the media, both state- controlled and private, failed to provide impartial and fair information about the election campaign and candidates. /// END ACT /// /// OPT /// Although the observers did not monitor the elections in Chechnya, Ms. Degn said conditions in the war-torn republic were not acceptable for carrying out what she called a "normal election." She stressed that observers could not rule out the potential for what she called "intimidation and fear" among the Chechen population who were invited to vote. /// OPT /// Russian news agencies said more than 60 percent of eligible voters in Chechnya, including Russian soldiers, had come to the polls under tight security. /// END OPT /// The question now is whom Vladimir Putin will choose as his prime minister and what measures he will take to fulfill his campaign promises to revive the economy and fight corruption. His challenges include the ongoing war in Chechnya and appealing to the nearly one-third of the electorate who voted for his Communist opponent. /// REST OPT /// The chairman of Russia's upper house of parliament, Yegor Stroyev, said Russians were pleased the elections had not moved into a second round between Mr. Putin and Communist candidate Zyuganov. /// STROYEV ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER /// Mr. Stroyev says a second round of elections was not needed for one simple reason -- "over the last ten years we have had lots of elections and we are tired of them." (Signed) NEB/EC/JWH/JO 27-Mar-2000 10:41 AM EDT (27-Mar-2000 1541 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .