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 Monday, June 21 2021 17:00
Marianna Mkrtchyan

OSCE / ODIHR, PACE and OSCE PA observers generally positively assess  the organization and conduct of early elections in Armenia

OSCE / ODIHR, PACE and OSCE PA observers generally positively assess  the organization and conduct of early elections in Armenia

ArmInfo. Observers of the OSCE / ODIHR, PACE and OSCE PA generally positively assess the organization and conduct of early parliamentary elections in Armenia.  

Thus, on June 21, during a press conference in Yerevan, the head of  the delegation of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Kari Henriksen,  stated that the authorities of the country organized the elections  professionally and transparently, despite the presence of minor legal  ambiguities associated with the amendments to the Electoral Code, due  to the short time passed since their adoption.  At the same time, she  assured that voters were given a fairly wide choice, fundamental  rights were respected, political forces had equal opportunities to  carry out the campaign. Personalized and negative campaigning has  generally affected the atmosphere of political debate, she said.  At  the same time, the OSCE PA representative pointed to the activity of  women during the entire period of the election campaign.

"In general, we positively assessed the electoral processes on  Election Day. We were pleased to lead 79 observers from 24 countries.  All of them, on the whole, positively assessed the process of  organizing and holding the elections, of course without taking into  account the fact that the authorities were given little time to carry  out electoral reforms. Thanks to these changes, women were given a  wider opportunity to participate in the electoral processes, but  women did not show active interest. Despite the hot weather, the  situation could become very tense, which did not happen and I highly  appreciate your work aimed at the proper organization of the  elections. " Henriksen said, concluding her speech by pointing out  the fact that many polling stations were not accessible to people  with disabilities. According to the representative of the PA OSCE,  equal opportunities for all, including for people with disabilities,  is the ideal to which democracy aspires.

In turn, the head of the PACE delegation, Georgios Katrougalos noted  that as a Greek he, first of all, would like to express the support  of Armenia from the Greek people.  "PACE is a defender of democratic  values and human rights in states. Armenia has joined our  organization since 2001, but since 1995 we have been observing the  elections and the evolution of democracy in Armenia.

Despite the difficulties and short terms, setting aside a fairly  polarized political field, fair, positive elections were organized,  without attempts to hinder their democratic essence. Of course, there  were some technical violations, minor - but this does not call into  question the democratic and constitutional system necessary to  organize such elections, " he said, expressing his conviction that  the results of these elections should be perceived by all parties as  a step forward and a chance to participate in the next elections. In  conclusion, he added that despite the political polarization, the  PACE accepts the results of these elections, and later a full report  with an assessment of the elections will be presented.

In turn, the head of the delegation of the OSCE Office for Democratic  Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE / ODIHR) Owen Murphy recalled  that their team began its election observation activities more than a  month ago, studied the whole process and will remain in Armenia until  the final results of these elections.

"No obstacles were created for our work during our stay in Armenia.  The authorities openly and transparently interacted with us. We also  interacted with representatives of civil society, with all political  forces. At all levels, we encountered professional activities.  Candidates were able to realize their pre- election campaign and they  were presented with equal conditions, the authorities generally  fulfilled their mandate and the process was organized effectively. Of  course, the existing hostility can lead to some problems. It should  also be noted that the polarization present in the country can be  considered constructive ", he said, also pointing out that women did  not take full advantage of their opportunities, which are represented  by legislation and were not active enough.

Murphy also pointed to a number of disturbing facts, including the  prejudice of some broadcasters, threats against a number of media  representatives, etc.

"In general, we positively assess the organization of electoral  processes on election day. Although, perhaps, hostility and hatred to  some extent prevented the formation of constructiveness during the  elections.  Incidents. But the authorities have created the proper  atmosphere for the elections, I am sure they will also study all the  incidents recorded, "he said, adding that all comments and  shortcomings will be included in their final report, which will be  published in 2 months." When asked whether the violations voiced by  local observers could affect the election result, Murphy noted that  OSCE / ODIHR observers had heard about individual cases of election  violations. However, according to him, the most important thing in  this process is that the authorities gave the appropriate course to  all these messages.

At the same time, the head of the ODIHR / OSCE delegation expressed  his conviction that in order to understand whether these violations  will affect the results of the elections, it is necessary to  understand their essence. "All violations and comments will be  included in the final report. Yes, we also heard about the use of  administrative resources, this was reported to the appropriate  structures, about power outages.  But, in general, everything went in  a positive direction, the elections were organized properly," Murphy  said.

And Georgios Katrougalos added that they had received reports of the  use of administrative resources, especially with regard to the armed  forces. "But we are convinced that all these violations in general  did not have a serious impact on the election results," said the head  of the PACE observation mission.  European observers also agreed that  the elections in terms of the quality of their organization were  close to the results of the early parliamentary elections in Armenia  in December 2018.


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