OSCE Reaffirms Mostly Positive Assessment

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–The Armenian Foreign Ministry said Monday that Europe’s top human rights body has reaffirmed its initial positive assessment of the February 19 presidential election in Armenia.
The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights said Saturday in its third interim report that Armenia’s elections were "administered mostly in line with OSCE and Council of Europe commitmen’s and standards."
Some of the problems cited in the post-election interim report have been the primary focus of Armenia’s law enforcement bodies, the Foreign Ministry said. Appropriate steps are being taken to respond to the reported violations, including criminal charges for those responsible for certain electoral irregularities, the Ministry added.
But the government has not yet received exact information on 13 out of the 17 election precincts that the OSCE reported "bad" or "very bad" conduct of the vote counting process, the Ministry said, adding, that the government cannot take the appropriate steps and continue investigations without knowing which precincts committed the electoral fraud.
The interim report also includes subjective statemen’s based on data that has yet to be corroborated, the Ministry explained. The Armenian government, the Ministry Said, will closely examine each problem, inconsistency and error cited in the report, and will provide comprehensive information about each, both to the Armenian public and to the OSCE/ODIHR in order to assure that the final report is even more objective and complete.
In other news, Armenia’s Constitutional Court rejected on Saturday opposition candidate Levon Ter-Petrosian’s appeal against the official results of Armenia’s presidential election.
The court ruled after day-long deliberations that the former Armenian president and his representatives failed to substantiate their claims that the February 19 vote was rigged in favor of Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian.
The panel of nine judges found credible only some of the purported evidence of election fraud presented by Ter-Petrosian, ordering the Office of the Prosecutor-General to investigate it. But it made clear that the alleged violations could not have affected the election outcome.
Ter-Petrosian appeared to have anticipated the rejection of his deman’s for a re-run of the election. None of his representatives was present at the announcement of the verdict. Hrant Nazarian, a Constitutional Court judge, took about 30 minutes to read out the verdict.

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