OSCE says Uzbek presidential election fell short of democratic standards

Uzbekistan's presidential election, in which authoritarian leader Islam Karimov faced three candidates who publicly supported him, failed to meet democratic standards, a leading international democracy and security group said Monday. The election-monitoring arm of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said in a statement that Sunday's vote "was held in a strictly controlled political environment, leaving no room for real opposition, and the election generally failed to meet many OSCE commitments for democratic elections."