MOSCOW, September 25 (RIA Novosti)
The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) on Tuesday over its preliminary conclusions on the parliamentary elections in Belarus last Sunday.
The elections to Belarus' chamber of representatives to the national assembly elected delegates to 109 of 110 districts. One district put up only one candidate. Not a single opposition candidate was elected in the ballot, in which turnout was 74.3 percent.
Observers from a CIS monitoring group said the elections were completely in compliance with the law, open and guaranteed civil rights and free expression. The OSCE meanwhile said the elections were neither transparent nor democratic. Belarusian opposition leaders also complained of systematic harassment by the authorities in the run-up to the poll and complained the election process was manipulated by the state.
“Unfortunately, as it usually happens in these situations, the OSCE/ODIHR tentative conclusions were in dissonance with reports by other observers, as they were again dominated by a deliberately politicized approach,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The recurrent divergence in assessment of the elections in Belarus once again eloquently underlines the need to develop and adopt unified and coordinated election monitoring guidelines for all OSCE member-countries,” the ministry said.
According to the ministry, a relevant draft document was submitted to OSCE by Russia and some other member countries in 2007.
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