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.