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Moscow recognizes Belarus presidential elections results

Written by: Staff

Moscow, Mar 20 (UNI) Russia today approved presidential election results in Belarus, giving a landslide victory to incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, who defeated the pro-West opposition candidate Alexander Milinkevich.

''The elections demonstrated high civic awareness and people's desire for stability and more socially oriented policies.

Belarussian voters clearly expressed their will and it must be respected,'' Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement referring to the denunciation of the elections results by the European Union and US.

''The presidential elections in Belarus followed universally recongnised standards,'' it added.

According to the preliminary results announced by the Belarussian Central Elections Commission, Lukashenko received about 82 per cent of the votes, while his arch-rival Milinkevich about six per cent.

The Council of Europe Secretary-General Terry Davis described the reelection of Lukashenko as a ''farce rather than a form of democracy in a country that suppresses freedom of speech and assembly so methodically and aggressively.'' OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Alcee Hastings, said in Minsk, the Belarussian capital, that presidential elections in Belarus did not ''meet the standards of freedom and justice.'' Meanwhile, observers from CIS countries declared today that Belarussian presidential elections were held in an ''open and transparent atmosphere.'' ''The elections complied with Belarussian election legislation and voter turnout was high,'' Interfax news agency quoted Vladimir Rushailo, the CIS observers' mission chief in Minsk, as saying.


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