OSCE Observers Meet with Candidates

YEREVAN (Armenpress/Noyan-Tapan)–Headed by Peter Eicher–the OSCE Election Observation Mission in Armenia to monitor presidential election campaigning and elections in Armenia–met with eight presidential candidates.

Eicher said that twenty five members of the commission have been dispatched to regions throughout Armenia. Some 250 short-term observers will be dispatched to monitor voting–counting of ballots–and vote tabulation. They will arrive in Armenia’shortly before election day. On the day after the election–the OSCE/ODIHR will issue a statement of preliminary findings and conclusions. A comprehensive final report will be released about a month after the completion of the election process..

Having monitored the 1995 presidential election in Armenia–Eicher revealed that they fell short of meeting international standards–and expressed hope that 2003 elections would mark substantial progress.

CIS MONITORS AT NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Also in Armenia to monitor elections–members of the CIS long-term monitoring mission–led Evgeni Sloboda met with Armenia’s National Assembly (NA) speaker Armen Khachatrian on January 27.

The CIS monitoring group will visit all regions of Armenia before the elections. On the eve of the presidential elections–additional monitors will join the group; its main members will monitor parliamentary elections as well.

Khachatrian expressed confidence that the upcoming presidential elections would mark another step towards the development of democracy in the country–strengthening Armenia’s international authority. One Complaint Registered by CEC Since the official kick-off of presidential election campaigns 6 days ago–the Central Election Commission (CEC) has received one complaint; presidential candidate Ardashes Geghamian has filed a complaint claiming problems while trying to utilize local TV stations in the regions.

He claimed local TV stations experience power blackout/technical problem–preventing him from presenting his platform and views.

CEC Chairman Artak Sahradian has ordered a study of the situation and an immediate removal of all obstacles.

The CEC has not received any other complaints so far.

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