OSCE/ODIHR publishes final report on Armenian presidential election

The final report by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on the 18 February 2013 presidential election in Armenia concludes that though the elections were generally well-administered and characterized by a respect for fundamental freedoms, more can be done to increase public trust in the integrity of the electoral process.

The report, released on 8 May 2013, notes that while contestants were able to campaign freely and media fulfilled their legal obligation to provide balanced coverage, a lack of impartiality of the public administration and cases of pressure on voters were of concern.

It recommends that public officials should refrain from the abuse of state resources, including abuse of office towards their employees and the public. Authorities are also encouraged to develop and implement safeguards in order to ensure a clear separation between State and party, in line with the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document.

While the electoral legal framework is noted as comprehensive and conducive overall to the conduct of democratic elections, election commissions, law enforcement bodies and courts should interpret, implement and enforce the electoral legal framework taking into consideration the intent of the law.

Election commissions and courts are also recommended to duly consider the substance of all complaints and appeals, and impartially and thoroughly consider all evidence.

The report encourages authorities to proceed with preparing the necessary legislative amendments, in order to address previous and present recommendations, in a public consultative and inclusive process with the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including political parties and civil society.

The report is available at: http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/101314

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