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Belarus’ parliamentary polls not in line with democratic standards, says OSCE

Elections to the Belarusian parliament’s lower house were held on Sunday

MINSK, November 18. /TASS/. Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Belarus did not correspond to international democratic standards, Margareta Cederfelt, Special Coordinator and leader of the OSCE short-term observer mission, said on Monday.

"These elections have demonstrated an overall lack of respect for democratic commitments," she said.

"Significant shortcomings during vote counting gave rise to concerns about whether the results were counted and reported honestly," the mission said in a preliminary statement. "The legal framework within which the vote took place provided insufficient guarantees for the conduct of elections in line with international standards."

"There was a lack of safeguards in the administration both of election day and early voting procedures, which negatively affected the integrity of the process," it said stressing the necessity of a comprehensive reform of electoral law.

Elections to the Belarusian parliament’s lower house were held on Sunday. They were recognized as valid in all the 110 constituencies. As many as 513 candidates out of 560 initially registered vied for seats in the country’s parliament.

The voter turnout was 77.22%, exceeding the 2016 ballot by 3%. None of the opposition candidates was able to win seats in the legislature.