In a statement made public yesterday, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry yesterday accepted with satisfaction the Council of Europe’s assessment of the recent presidential elections in Armenia. The CE monitors report, submitted at this week’s session of the CE Parliamentary Assembly, assesses the election on the whole favorably, despite some irregularities and violations of the electoral law which, according to the report, did not influence the election’s outcome. The report concludes that the election accurately reflected popular will, and that the electoral process marked a significant progress, compared with the 1996 election.
In a statement last week, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry took sharp issue with the OSCE’s report on the election. The monitors of the OSCE and its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) noticed frequent and far-reaching irregularities and violations of the electoral law. They complained about ballot box-stuffing, questioned the vote-counting and noted many cases in which representatives of the authorities influenced or pressured voters in favor of the incumbent and winning candidate Robert Kocharian. The OSCE/ODIHR added that the suspect 1996 election was not a valid term for comparison. (Noyan-Tapan and Western agencies, April 14 through 23).
GEORGIAN ENERGY MINISTER RESIGNS UNDER PRESSURE.