OSCE finds serious flaws in Belarusian vote-count (Extra)

Minsk - The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Monday condemned Belarus' latest presidential election and said that the counting of votes was seriously flawed.

'While voting on election day was overall assessed positively, the process deteriorated significantly during the vote count, with observers assessing almost half of vote counts monitored as bad or very bad,' the OSCE said in a statement.

Incumbent Aleksander Lukashenko won the Sunday vote by a wide margin, according to official counts, securing a fourth term in office.

OSCE observers also condemned a wave of arrests carried out by Belarusian security forces against other presidentidal candidates, hundreds of government opponents and human rights activists.

'This election failed to give Belarus the new start it needed,' said election observer Tony Lloyd.

OSCE officials likewise criticized the Belarusian state media's overwhelming support of Lukashenko, who received almost 90 per cent of the coverage on state-controlled channels.


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