Kocharian Condemns Attempted Election Irregularities

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Acting President–Prime Minister–and presidential candidate Robert Kocharian issued the following statement on Tuesday:

"During the March 16 presidential election in Armenia–citizens of Armenia displayed a high rate of voter turnout–therefore voicing their confidence in the election.

On the whole–the election was held within the limits of the law and in an orderly manner.

It should be noted–however–that perhaps that the tradition of democratic elections has not yet been fully rooted in Armenia–and leaves room for certain irregularities in the election process. It was clear to us that the latter necessitated the participation of international observers and monitors. Our strong will to invite those foreign observers and monitors is due to the fact that we highly regard their unbiased and impartial opinion of the presidential election.

It is pertinent to refrain from making groundless accusations and hasty assessmen’s–especially since foreign monitors have yet to provide their assessment of the election–and courts of law have yet to judge reported violations of law during the election.

I offer assurance that all incidents reported during the March 16 election will be thoroughly investigated and those responsible will be dealt with through legal procedures. Criminal proceedings have already been undertaken in dealing with certain election-related incidents.

I condemn any attempt to violate the course of the presidential process–and reaffirm that the state guarantees a free and fair election.

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