CIS Observers Confident about Armenia Elections

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–During a January 23 press conference–the first Deputy Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee in charge of the CIS Observation Mission in Armenia Dmitry Bulakhov stated: "I think that presidential elections in Armenia will be held on the highest level. It is up to the people to choose–and the Armenian people have the ability make a correct decision." He established that the norms of the Armenian Constitution and Electoral Code are democratic and correspond to international standards.

The problem the mission foresees is in the implementation of laws: "That’s why we are here; the work of the mission will embrace all the regions of the country; it will be impossible–however–to cover all the precincts," Bulakhov stressed.

The head of the mission–Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee Yuri Yarov–will arrive in Armenia on February 15.

The long-term mission will monitor the entire election process–including pre-election campaigning and final count and tabulation of the votes. They will monitor the course of elections–including actions of mass media and foreign media which will play a great role during elections. The mission will prepare weekly analytical accounts–key in adopting a final statement on election results. "Our task is to express an international-legal estimation of election outcomes," said Bulakhov.

The political weight of the final statement will be greater than all other assessmen’s Bulakhov revealed: "The activities of the mission are not only brought to one statement–but will also include the representative’s report to the CIS Foreign Ministers’ Council. The final assessment on the Armenian elections will be voiced at the Council of CIS Heads."

Bulakhov said that the mission has already held a series of meetings with the chiefs of campaign staffs: Serge Sarkisian–representatives of Artashes Geghamian–the head of the Democratic Party Aram Sargsian. Meetings at the headquarters of other presidential candidates are scheduled. They have made agreemen’s with all the campaign headquarters about providing the CIS Observation Mission with information as "only the basis of general and comprehensive information can proper conclusions be drawn."

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