Not one of the 70 opposition party candidates won a seat in parliament in Sunday's election in Belarus, and foreign poll monitors said the voting did not live up to international democratic standards. Opposition leaders called on the US and the European Union not to recognize the results. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which sends observer missions to countries holding elections, said, "Promises to ensure the transparency of the vote count were not implemented."
Leftist President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela raised tensions with the US higher still Sunday, announcing that he'd accepted a Russian offer to help build a nuclear reactor. Chávez already has stoked those tensions by buying more than $4 billion worth of advanced Russian-made weapons and by arranging for Russian warships to participate in joint naval maneuvers in the Caribbean later this year. The latter will be Russia's largest presence there since the cold war.
Less than two weeks after his election as Thailand's new prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat was under investigation Monday for owning stock in an Internet services provider that does business with the government. The Election Commission took up the case on the basis of a complaint by the same opposition senator whose filing began the process that toppled Somchai's predecessor, Samak Sundaravej. If the Constitutional Court determines that Somchai is guilty, he would be disqualified from serving in parliament and ineligible to continue as prime minister.