June 1, 2009

YEREVAN, JUNE 1, ARMENPRESS: The observing mission of CoE Congress
of Local and Regional Authorities welcomes the first elections of
Council of Yerevan Elders.

"We express satisfaction that the Yerevan citizens elect their
council and that the process was conducted in a normal way. The
congress delegation welcomes the fact that by these elections Armenia
on its own possibilities contributed to the implementation of local
democracy. On the whole the elections were positive," during today's
press conference organized for the presentation of the initial report
the head of observing mission Nayjel Mermagen (UK) said.

According to him, the general organization of the elections
corresponded to the international standards. A considerable progress is
registered compared with the 2008 elections of local self governmental
bodies held in Yerevan.

"The congress delegation also noted that those who have their role in
politics in Armenia must change their attitude and behavior to ensure
the improvement of democratic process of elections. The elections
have to be clear, fair and transparent even out of the polling station
and an electoral culture must be formed," N. Mermagen noted.

The observers registered certain flaws in the election process. They
will involve all the details, all the registered flaws in their final
report which cannot affect the legality of the election results. Noting
that some flaws carried an organizational character N. Mermagen did
not wish to go into details today.

Observers representing the United Kingdom, France, Estonia, Hungary,
San Marino, Poland, Italy and Belgium were present in the polling
stations before their opening, walked round more than 200-230
stations being present from 5 minutes to two hours, in some places
they visited for the second time unexpectedly, they were also present
at the closing of stations and final calculation.

CoE Congress of Local and Regional Authorities was the only
organization which had an international observation mission. From May
3-6 the Congress delegates observed the pre-election procedures but
the short-term observers were in Yerevan from May 27 by now. They met
the representatives of authorities, opposition, mass media, NGOs and
Ambassadors accredited in Armenia.

The Congress observers are ready to listen to notifications of any
organization which will be taken into account in the final document. It
will be presented during the autumn session of the Congress in mid

"The CoE wishes to see the consolidation of democracy in Armenia. Our
presence in these elections as well as the report to be prepared will
contribute to the consolidation of democracy," head of the Congress
delegation noted.