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You're reading: OSCE says Belarus election not impartial or competitive
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“This election was not competitive from the start,” Matteo Mecacci, OSCE special coordinator, said in the statement. “A free election depends on people being free to speak, organise and run for office, and we didn’t see that in this campaign.”

Sunday’s election was boycotted by the main opposition and produced a parliament composed exclusively of independents or candidates loyal to Lukashenko, reinforcing his autocratic, 18-year rule.

A report of preliminary findings published by the OSCE, which fielded 330 observers of the election, said many prominent politicians who might have played an important role in the election “remained in prison or were not eligible to register because of their criminal record”.

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