Int’l Orgs attempt to restore justice to save face – Opp member

International organizations attempt to restore justice to save face –
Armenian opposition member

March 04, 2013 | 13:15

YEREVAN. – The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR)
helped so that the presidents of France and Germany would have grounds
to congratulate Armenia’s incumbent President, Serzh Sargsyan, as a
result of the country’s presidential election. Opposition Heritage
Party member Stiopa Safaryan stated this during a press conference on

Reflecting on the OSCE/ODIHR’s preliminary and interim reports on the
election, Safaryan noted that the interim report questions the
accuracy of the votes which the ruling Republican Party (RPA)
candidate – that is, Sargsyan – had received in several hundred precincts,
and that the observers expressed a concern about a fairly high voter
turnout and in connection with the votes Sargsyan had garnered.

`We can have a grievance that the preliminary report gave a good
assessment to the election, whereas the interim and the final reports
criticize it, and justice is being restored. At the initial phase, the
international organizations are helping them [that is, the foreign
country leaders] to send congratulatory messages and, subsequently – and
to safe face – , they are attempting to restore justice with interim and
final reports,’ Safaryan argued.

But the other speaker of the press conference, RPA MP Artak Davtyan,
noted that, perhaps, it is not necessary to think about the
international organizations’ `saving face.’ As per Davtyan, these
organizations have so much prestige and reputation that they do not
need to give an account when issuing statements.

According to the ruling party deputy, the overwhelming majority of the
149 polling precincts, which the OSCE/ODIHR has noted in its reports,
are those precincts where there are up to a maximum of 300 voters. In
his words, it would have been illogical if the ratio of the votes in
these small precincts had been just as elastic as those in the other
precincts. Davtyan also noted that, perhaps, these are the small
communities which Heritage had not visited and where the residents are
interconnected, and therefore it is only natural that a given
community votes in the same manner.

The ruling party MP added that he is not concerned by the assessments
that are made in the OSCE/ODIHR interim report, and that even if the
ballots which were cast in a given precinct were to be counted in
favor of opposition Heritage Party Chairman Raffi Hovannisian – who is
declared runner-up to the winner, incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan,
as a result of the presidential election that was conducted on
February 18, but who claims to be the real winner in the vote – , this
would not change the overall picture.

Stiopa Safaryan, on the other hand, noted that if the results in these
precincts are declared invalid, Hovannisian would come out the winner.

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