Armenian election mostly fair – European observers

Mediamax, Armenia
Feb. 20, 2008

ARMENIAN ELECTION "MOSTLY" FAIR, IRREGULARITIES REGISTERED – EUROPEAN
OBSERVERS

Yerevan, 20 February: The joint observation mission of the OSCE
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and
the European Parliament believe thatthe presidential election in
Armenia "mostly" met the standards of the OSCE and the Council of
Europe.

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Vice-President Anne-Marie Lizin said
this, Mediamax reports. At the same time,"further improvement and
appropriate political will are necessary to resolve the existing
problems", she said speaking on behalf of the joint mission. Among
these problems, members of the mission noted the lack of
cleardistinction between the functions of the state and parties, the
shortage of public trust in the election process andensuring equal
treatment of all participants in the election.

"The vote count did not help reduce the suspicions harboured by those
taking part in the election," thepreliminary conclusion of the
international observation mission said.

"The Central Electoral Commission of Armenia has ensured a high level
of transparency, with the exception ofcomplaints that were for the
most part considered at unofficial sessions," the document said.

"The voting took place in a relatively calm atmosphere, despite the
tension and disorder at 6 per cent of thepolling stations visited by
our observers," it said.

"At 16 per cent of the polling stations visited by our observers the
vote count was assessed as ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’. Our observers
reported deliberate falsification of data included in the protocols
at somestations," the document said.

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