HEAD OF OSCE OBSERVATION MISSION HOPES TO REGISTER ARMENIA'S FURTHER PROGRESS IN MAKING THE ELECTION PROCESS MEET THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

Mediamax
January 10, 2008

Yerevan /Mediamax/. Head of the long-term observers' mission of the
OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in
Armenia, Ambassador Geert-Hinrich Ahrens stated in Yerevan today that
"after the presidential elections of February 19, we hope to register
Armenia's further progress in making the election process meet the
international standards".

Mediamax reports that the representatives of the OSCE ODIHR mission
of long-term observers gave the first news conference in Yerevan today.

14 goups of long-term observers (2 observers in each) will work in
the whole territory of Armenia. It is expected that on the day of
elections the number of short-term observers from the OSCE will make
250 people, not counting the representatives of the Parliamentary
Assemblies of the OSCE and the Council of Europe.

"I believe that we will have enough people for carrying out observation
over the elections in Armenia", Geert-Hinrich Ahrens stated. The Head
of the mission said that he had already met the Minister of Foreign
Affairs and the Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission of Armenia
and had agreed on holding weekly meetins with the leadership of the
Foreign Ministru and the CEC. Geert-Hinrich Ahrens stated that he
intends to meet all the 9 candidates, claiming to occupy the position
of the Armenian President.

Before the elections, the OSCE ODIHR mission will present two interim
reports. The preliminary conclusion, as usual, will be publicized
the following day after the elections, and the final report - in the
course of 2 months after the elections.

Answering the question on how important the data of exit-polls, which
are planned to be held on the day of elections on the initiative
of the U.S. government, will be for the OSCE observation mission,
Geert-Hinrich Ahrens stated:

"We will consider the data of exit-polls as one of the sources of
information, however we will not base on that for anticipation of
the elections".

Geert-Hinrich Ahrens noted that today the OSCE ODIHR mission will start
the realization of a monitoring of the electronic and print media of
Armneia. He stressed that "the media sometimes play a decisive role
in securing democratic elections".

Geert-Hinrich Ahrens refrained to make any commens concerning the
pre-election situation, noting that the mission has been working in
Armenia for only 2 days yet.