Monday, March 15, 2004

"Failed to meet democratic standards"

"European election observers" believe that Russia's recent election "failed to meet democratic standards."

Russia's presidential election has failed to meet democratic standards, European election observers say.

Sunday's poll did not meet criteria "necessary for a healthy democratic election process", said chief observer Julian Peel Yates in Moscow.

Observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe took part in the mission.

President Vladimir Putin won more than 70% of the votes cast.

After his victory, he vowed to proceed with economic reforms and said he would safeguard democracy.

He also dismissed criticism from US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who had suggested that Mr Putin's rivals had been denied media access.


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