PACE: Armenian presidential election an improvement

According to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe considered the report on the presidential elction in Armenia held on February 18, 2013.

Acording to the Assembly, , the presidential election held in Armenia on 18 February 2013 “was generally well-administered and was characterised by a respect for fundamental freedoms”, thus constituting an improvement over the previous presidential election in 2008.

In her report, Karin Woldseth (Norway, EDG), head of the mission which observed the election, welcomed in particular the fact that the candidates were able to campaign without hindrance, that the public media provided balanced coverage and that election day was calm and peaceful.

The report approved today by the Assembly does point out, however, that “a number of shortcomings” were observed, in particular “abuse of administrative resources” and “interference in the election process by candidate proxies and supporters”. In addition, the Assembly regretted that voters saw their possible choices narrowed by the decision of major political parties not to present candidates.

PACE urged the Armenian authorities to address these shortcomings, which undermine public trust in the electoral process, in order to ensure that they do not resurface in future elections, whether at national, local or regional level. It also asked the authorities to investigate all allegations of electoral fraud and misconduct and to punish any perpetrators.

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