Statement by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation

"THE BLATANT BUYING AND SELLING OF VOTES LAID THE DANGEROUS GROUNDWORK FOR POLITICAL IMMORALITY IN THE COUNTRY."

The ARF Supreme Body–reviewing the National Assembly (NA) election process and the released final results–states:

During the pre-election period–political forces and NA candidates–in general–had a chance to conduct their campaigns without complications;

Election commission members and proxies representing the ARF did their best to ensure a normal election process–but the voting that took place on May 25 cannot be assessed as fully free–fair and transparent;

Bribes given openly and extensively by political forces and candidates essentially affected the election process. Agencies in charge did nothing to prevent this unlawful fact. The blatant buying and selling of votes laid the dangerous groundwork for political immorality in the country;

The ruling party fully utilized state administrative resources to artificially inflate its votes and bolster other political forces and individual constituency candidates.

Regional and local government bodies in Syunik–Armavir–Tavush–Ararat and Lori were used as well to achieve the same objective;

In this instance–votes in favor of the ruling party were largely inflated in about two dozen constituencies under their control–due to votes that were cast on behalf of those who did not participate in the elections–and due to voting instructions given to conscripts and military officers;

The voting process in electoral districts 3–12–17–29–30 and 56 were marred by sweeping irregularities and violence;

The efforts by top leadership of the country were not enough to prevent irregularities organized and carried out by political and non-political forces–a variety of branches of executive–regional and local governmen’s as well as individual constituency candidates;

Voting and counting processes in some constituencies were carried out normally. The fact that re-votes have been scheduled some constituencies with sweeping irregularities is promising;

We demand and expect that free–fair and transparent elections be reheld in districts where vote results were considered void–and that cases submitted to the Constitutional Court will be considered fairly.

Acknowledging that the votes for the ruling party have been greatly inflated–and that the newly-elected National Assembly does not fully reflect a realistic picture of existing political forces;

Underscoring the importance of maintaining stability in the country–furthering the democratization process and fundamental reforms of the electoral system;

Emphasizing that the state system is still not ready–and some sectors of the society–due to economic constraints–are not capable of conducting adequate elections;

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation considers the National Assembly elections valid.

We wish the majority force success–urging it at the same time to be conscious of difficult internal and external political–economic–social and psychological challenges facing the country and act with that responsibility.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation thanks all the citizens who voted for the party or made a choice based on their convictions and political awareness.

We guarantee that we will be pursuing–to our utmost capabilities–the realization of goals and programs we put forward in our pre-election campaign.

ARF Supreme Body of Armenia

June 1–2003

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