BBC, May 04, 2004
Macedonia election 'mostly clean'
European observers at Macedonia's presidential election say the vote has met international democratic standards, despite some "serious" irregularities.
Europe's OSCE security organisation said it saw evidence of "ballot box stuffing and intimidation".
The country's electoral commission has declared Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski the clear winner over his challenger, Sasko Kedev.
But the opposition has alleged fraud and demanded the result be annulled.
The election was held after the country's President Boris Trajkovski was killed in an air crash in February.
"The overall picture remains that of a democratic election held under extraordinary circumstances," said Ambassador Friedrich Bauer, head of the OSCE mission in Macedonia.
But he said that "in certain areas, serious incidents cast a shadow over the election".
He said one of the most serious incidents occurred when a member of parliament entered a polling station and started to disrupt voting.
But Mr Bauer did not clarify whether reported irregularities had affected the final outcome of the presidential vote.
"This is the question mainly to be discussed by the state electoral commission. They are in charge with complaints and irregularities."