DUSHANBE: Serious irregularities including ballot-box stuffing mean Sunday's parliamentary election in Tajikistan failed to meet basic democratic standards, Europe's main election watchdog said on Monday.
“I'm happy that election day took place in a generally good atmosphere but I'm even more disappointed that these elections failed on many basic democratic standards,” Pia Christmas-Moller, vice-president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said in a statement.
The OSCE said its observers had “highlighted serious irregularities on election day, including a high prevalence of family and proxy voting and cases of ballot box stuffing”.
“…Such serious irregularities weaken genuine democratic progress,” Christmas-Moller said.
Tajikistan, a poor ex-Soviet state on the border with Afghanistan, has never held an election deemed free and fair by Western observers. AGENCIES