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Armenia: PACE pre-electoral delegation told of competitive electoral environment but also of concerns about the possibility of multiple voting

Yerevan, 12.04.2012 – Armenia on the eve of its parliamentary election has a competitive electoral environment in an improved legal framework, provided by its new Electoral Code, warmly welcomed a pre-electoral delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), visiting Yerevan on 11 and 12 April 2012.

It is important that the Electoral Code is fully implemented and in good faith. The delegation took careful note of strong concerns of the possibility of double-voting, perhaps as a result of the inclusion on the voters’ list of Armenian citizens living abroad. The delegation understood that these concerns should be addressed before the election.

The low level of trust in the electoral process as a whole is another issue underscored by the delegation’s interlocutors. A series of parallel initiatives designed to increase public confidence in the electoral process have already been initiated by different electoral stakeholders. It is important for these initiatives to reach their common goal, in a synergetic way.

The electoral campaign that has just begun could well be the opportunity for all political parties and candidates to clearly disseminate their policies for Armenia’s future development, so that voters can make an informed choice.

The PACE pre-electoral delegation was in Yerevan at the invitation of the President of the National Assembly of Armenia. It met with the President of Armenia, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the President of the National Assembly, the Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission, the Deputy Head of the National Police, representatives of the main political parties running in these elections, NGO and media representatives, the head of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission and diplomats in Yerevan.

A full-fledged, 28-member team of PACE observers will arrive in Yerevan at the beginning of May to observe the vote in close co-operation with teams from OSCE/ODIHR, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the European Parliament. The PACE delegation will present its findings and recommendations to the Assembly’s Standing Committee on 25 May in Tirana.

Bogdan Torcatoriu, PACE Interparliamentary Co-operation and Election Observation:
+374 98 355 387; +33 (0) 388 41 32 82