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29.09.2008

No opposition candidates get into parliament in the Belarusian “elections”

   

It is difficult not to use inverted commas given the lack of alternative in 15 constituencies, with 40 in all not having democratic candidates (including 9 out of the 20 constituencies in Minsk). 

The Head of the Central Election Commission, Lidia Yermoshina told a press conference that there had been 75.3 per cent turnout and that there would be no second round.

 "There was no election in Belarus. It was an electoral farce for the West," Anatoly Lebedko, leader of the opposition United Civil Party, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

"We call on the EU and the US not to recognise the results of the election," Mr Lebedko said.

Opposition groups also say that they were not allowed to monitor voting properly.

They say that advance voting - which began on Tuesday - gave the government an opportunity to cheat. The authorities deny the accusation.

Observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are due to give their assessment of the election later on Monday

From material at www.charter97.org and www.bbc.co.uk

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