OSCE criticises Yugoslav election laws

Thursday, 31 August, 2000

The European security organisation, the OSCE, says the laws governing next month's elections in Yugoslavia leave considerable scope for fraud and arbitrary decisions.

The OSCE says President Milosevic will be able to control the voting, the counting and any appeals.

It also says there aren't enough provisions for independent monitors -- the Yugoslavs say they won't admit any from countries that took part in last year's NATO bombing.

An OSCE spokesman, Gerard Stoudmann, told the BBC the deficient laws and the present political climate in the country were cause for serious concern. Opposition parties have repeatedly expressed fears that the polls - presidential, parliamentary and local - will not be free and fair. The spokesman also said the situation in Kosovo would not allow elections to be conducted in a credible manner there. The Yugoslav authorities say President Milosevic plans to visit the province, which is currently administered by the United Nations, though they did not say when.

Original article