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OSCE Praises Conduct of Macedonian Vote

Europe's largest security and human rights organization has praised Sunday's Macedonian redistricting referendum as generally consistent with European standards for democratic elections.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Monday limited irregularities concerning voter lists and polling station hours did not hurt the overall integrity of the process. The OSCE called the vote calm and orderly.

The referendum failed because of the 26 percent turnout. A minimum of 50 percent was required. The European Union and United States had urged a voter boycott.

Macedonian voters were asked if they want to return to local boundaries preceding a 2001 settlement of an armed uprising by ethnic Albanians. That deal gave ethnic Albanians more control over local matters.

The majority of those who voted Sunday approved the proposal.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.