State Department Acknowledges Progress in Elections

WASHINGTON (M2 Communications)–Armenia held elections for parliament on May 30. The Armenian Central Election Commission announced preliminary overall results on the evening of June 4.

The OSCE Election Observer Mission preliminary report states that the elections "demonstrated an improvement over prior elections" and were conducted in a generally peaceful and orderly manner which was free of intimidation.

It characterizes the elections as–in general–representing a relevant step towards compliance with OSCE commitmen’s. However–the OSCE preliminary report also states that further improvemen’s in the electoral process are needed. The National Democratic Institute report also acknowledged some improvemen’s over previous elections but concluded that this latest round failed to break from Armenia’s troubled electoral history or to meet the international standards and commitmen’s Armenia has accepted as the basis for organizing genuinely democratic elections. Both reports noted problems with out-dated and inaccurate voter lists–the formation of election commissions–and the presence of unauthorized individuals in polling stations.

While acknowledging the progress Armenia has made–the US government believes the OSCE and NDI preliminary reports make important and valuable recommendations for further improvement in the electoral process. We encourage Armenian authorities to act promptly on these recommendations to correct the legislative and procedural shortcomings identified by the OSCE and NDI.

We call on the Armenian authorities to publish promptly precinct-level protocols in order to increase the public’s confidence in the results and transparency of the electoral process. We also urge Armenian authorities to promptly and thoroughly investigate all specific charges of election abuses to ensure just electoral outcomes. We look forward to cooperating with the Armenian people and government as they continue their transition toward a more mature democracy.

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