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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:39, March 21, 2006
CIS, OSCE observers differ on Belarus vote
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Election observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) declared the Belarus presidential vote open and transparent on Monday while the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) did not assess the election positively.

The country's Central Election Commission announced earlier in the day that incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won a landslide victory in Sunday's vote, securing a third term.

More than 1,200 international observers monitored the vote, with the OSCE and the CIS sending the largest groups of election observers.

"The election complied with Belarus' election law and voter turnout was high. CIS observers view the Belarussian presidential vote as open and transparent," CIS observation mission chief Vladimir Rushailo told a press conference in Minsk.

"Belarus created the legal and organizational environment needed for monitoring the vote, which indicates that the election was open," Rushailo said.

However, the OSCE observation mission was critical of the vote. The Belarus election "failed to meet OSCE commitments for democratic elections," it said in a press release. But it added: " Election day was calm and orderly."

Also on Monday, Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement approving of the Belarus election as fair and legitimate.

"There is every reason to believe that the election has been held in conformity with universally-recognized standards, and its legitimacy is beyond any doubt," the statement said.

Source: Xinhua


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