Interfax News Agency, Russia
May 30 2008



Armenian elections mostly meet OSCE commitments, although problems
existed - OSCE report

YEREVAN May 30


The recent presidential elections in Armenia were conducted "in a
manner that mostly met OSCE commitments, but problems arose, notably
after the vote," the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human
Rights (ODIHR) said in a final report on the presidential elections
that were held in February.

"While the 2008 presidential election mostly met OSCE commitments and
international standards in the pre-election period and during voting
hours, serious challenges to some commitments did emerge, especially
after election day," says the report, available on the OSCE website on
Friday.

"This displayed an insufficient regard for standards essential to
democratic elections and devalued the overall election process. In
particular, the vote count demonstrated deficiencies of accountability
and transparency, and complaints and appeals procedures were not fully
effective," it said.

The ODIHR monitored the Armenian presidential election with 44
long-term and 250 short-term observers from more than 40 OSCE member-
states.

Ambassador Christian Strohal, the ODIHR director, was quoted in the
report as saying, "There is a sound legal basis for holding democratic
elections in Armenia - the deficiencies noted in our report resulted
primarily from a lack of determination to apply existing laws and
rules effectively and impartially."

"Improving Armenia's electoral framework does not require so much
further technical or legal changes, but rather a genuine commitment by
the authorities at all levels, as well as all other political
stakeholders, to a democratic electoral process free of undue State
interference and in line with OSCE standards," Strohal said.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress