Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, May 30, 2008

OSCE mixed on Armenian election’s adherence to international standards

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) issued a press release Friday to announce the publishing of its final assessment on the contentious Armenian presidential election in February.

The ODIHR compiled the report from the findings of the 294 observers who monitored the contest.

Ultimately, the assessment found the election to meet most OSCE and international standards in the pre-election period and during the casting of votes. However, it noted that serious problems arose when the votes were being counted, citing “insufficient regard for standards essential to democratic elections” and saying that the problems “devalued the overall election process.”

“There is a sound legal basis for holding democratic elections in Armenia – the deficiencies noted in our report resulted primarily from a lack of determination to apply existing laws and rules effectively and impartially,” said Ambassador Christian Strohal, Director of the ODIHR.

The reports recommendations to improve Armenia’s electoral process included steps to: address the lack of public confidence in the electoral process, ensure that all votes are cast free of coercion or intimidation, and enforce the clear separation of State structures from the governing political party.

For the full press release, click here.


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