Observers From Belarus-Russia Union Report Absence of Abuses in Belarusian Election

MINSK. Sept 29 (Interfax) - There were no abuses that could affect the returns of the Belarusian parliamentary elections held on Sunday, observers from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia reported.

"We visited over 20 polling stations and did not discover any wrongdoing. The elections were held in compliance with the law and election commissions functioned precisely and in a well coordinated fashion," member of the Russian State Duma Oleg Zholobov said in Minsk on Sunday.

Another Duma member, Anatoly Lokot, named four specific features of the elections in Belarus.

"Firstly, we recognize the high voter turnout. Secondly, we saw the friendly and caring attitude of members of election commissions to voters," he said.

The third feature was the absence of conflicts during the voting in contrast to what often happens in Russia, Lokot said. "The fourth point is that, after talking to OSCE observers we arrived at the common opinion that there were no significant breaches of law during the voting," he added.

The elections were "one more step to the advancement of the political system in Belarus," Lokot said.

Belarus held parliamentary elections on Sunday, in which 110 deputies were elected to the national parliament's House of Representatives. There were about 260 candidates, some 60 of them representing the opposition United Democratic Forces. Some 30 candidates are current parliamentary deputies.



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