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European Parliament Criticizes Minsk Over Elections

Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka speaks to journalists after casting a ballot in Minsk in the September 23 voting.
STRASBOURG, France -- The European Parliament has strongly criticized the recent parliamentary elections in Belarus, noting they failed to meet many basic democratic standards.

In a resolution backed by the chamber's main political groups, lawmakers on October 26 vowed not to recognize the results of the September 23 vote.

The resolution also noted with regret the decision to refuse entry visas to members of the European Parliament.

The text urges Belarusian authorities "to review their actions, improve and upgrade the electoral legislation and conduct new, free and fair parliamentary elections."

There is also an appeal to create fair conditions for all electoral candidates and to ensure transparency during the vote counting process.

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's allies won all the seats in parliament as most opposition parties boycotted the vote.
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