Belarussian opposition wins no seat in parliamentary poll

MINSK, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- Opposition candidates have failed to win any seats in the Belarussian parliamentary elections, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said Monday.

"No one from the opposition has made it into parliament," said Lidiya Yermoshina, the chairwoman of the CEC.

The first round of vote in every constituency is valid and there will be no second round, Yermoshina said.

Preliminary results showed that voter turnout in the polls is 75. 3 percent as a whole. The turnout of advance voting is 26.3 percent, and the turnout on the election day is 49 percent.

Sergei Lebedev, Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), described the elections as free and democratic.

The parliamentary elections were held in compliance with the country's laws and international standards, Lebedev said, adding that the campaign would be an important factor for the further democratization of Belarus.

The voting kicked off in Minsk, the Belarussian capital, on Sunday morning for the election of members of the country's lower house, or the House of Representatives.

A total of 263 candidates competed for 110 seats in the house. Of the candidates, 82 are from eight political parties and the others are non-partisans.

More than 900 international observers, including those from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and over 17, 000 national observers monitored the elections.

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said earlier he expected European observers to recognize the parliamentary polls as free and fair.

The previous parliamentary elections were held on Oct. 17, 2004and denounced by western countries as flawed and undemocratic.



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