The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights has published the second interim report on the presidential elections in Armenia. The report notes that “the campaign of incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan is the most visible, although some of the other candidates also campaign actively.
“On 31 January, candidate Paruyr Hayrikyan was shot and injured by an unknown assailant in central Yerevan. The authorities are investigating the crime. While the law provides for a candidate to request the Constitutional Court to postpone the election by two weeks in case of “insurmountable obstacles” to his or her campaign, on 5 February Mr. Hayrikyan announced that he will not ask for such a delay.”
“Administrative preparations for the election are proceeding according to legal deadlines. The CEC continues to work in an open and transparent manner. Precinct Election Commissions (PECs) were formed by 24 January, but not all parties entitled to do so nominated members for each PEC. The PEC members are being trained and the OSCE/ODIHR EOM LTOs positively assessed the trainings they have attended,” the report reads.
“Initial OSCE/ODIHR EOM media monitoring results indicate that the media focus on political and election-related information. Media regularly cover the contestants, with the coverage of the incumbent president and of candidate Raffi Hovannisyan dominating most channels. All contestants are using their free air time on public media,” the OSCE/ODIHR notes.
According to interim report, “the CEC and the courts have received a limited number of complaints, all of which were rejected or declared inadmissible. The Prosecutor General’s office has launched a public campaign encouraging citizens to report vote-buying without facing repercussions.”