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Belarus poll not fair, say Western observers

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Belarus poll not fair, say Western observers

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The European monitoring body, the OSCE, has said the presidential election in Belarus fell far short of international standards.

The EU is likely to base its reaction, to a large extent, on the organisation’s report. The OSCE team was headed by Geert Arens, who said: “It’s clear that the incumbent president allowed state authority to be used in a manner which did not allow free and fair elections in Belarus.” The Council of Europe also criticised the election, branding it a “farce.” It stressed its belief that there had been cheating during the campaign. However, monitors from the Community of Indepedent States, representing some former Soviet republics, declared the election “open and transparent”.