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    NATO’s Rasmussen Says Allies Never Recognize Outcome of Syria Vote

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    All the allies of the NATO do not recognize the results of the presidential election in Syria, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday.

    BRUSSELS, June 3 (RIA Novosti) - All the allies of the NATO do not recognize the results of the presidential election in Syria, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday.

    “The Syrian presidential election is a farce," Rasmussen said in the framework of a NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels.

    The vote "does not fulfil international standards for free, fair and transparent elections and I am sure no [NATO] ally will recognize the outcome of these so-called elections," Rasmussen said.

    In April, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov bashed the West for its biased approach towards Syrian and Ukrainian presidential elections.

    “The same people who say that the Syrian presidential election without a constitutional reform will be illegitimate […] are accepting the legitimacy of 25 May presidential election in Ukraine without any constitutional reform," Lavrov said in an interview with RT TV channel.

    Washington said it wouldn’t recognize the results of June 3 presidential vote in Syria, which has entered the fourth year of the armed conflict, citing the importance to first form an interim government and amend the constitution.

    And yet the US never objected to Ukraine’s going to polls without first honoring the agreements made on February 21.

    A presidential election is underway in Syria, with polling stations set to close at 7:00 p.m. local time (16:00 GMT). It is the first time in decades that more than one person is allowed to stand for the Syrian top office after the Syrian parliament approved in March a new election law.

    Three candidates are running for the presidency in Syria, including incumbent President Bashar Assad, who has been in power since 2000. The other two candidates are Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar, 43, an ex-Communist Party activist and member of parliament; and Hassan Abdullah Nouri, 54, a Damascus native and former lawmaker, who previously headed Syria’s Chamber of Industry.

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    NATO, elections, Anders Fogh Rasmussen
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