February 19, 2013
Armenia’s presidential elections on Monday were calm but the campaign lacked substantive political debate and real competition, as three major opposition parties decided not to field candidates, reported observer MEPs.
“We have observed a calm election day, characterised by no major difficulties in procedures, following a somewhat quiet, low-key election campaign with no substantive political debate or real competition. This was due mainly to the decision by three major parties not to field candidates”, said EP delegation chair Milan Cabrnoch (ECR, CZ), delivering the MEPs’ preliminary observations in Yerevan on Tuesday.
The delegation stressed that Armenia needs to restore faith in electoral processes for the future and must deliver on democratic, economic and social reforms with a view to concluding the EU-Armenia Association Agreement.
MEPs also endorsed the preliminary findings of an election observation mission sent by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) , headed by Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini.
Ms Tagliavini said that the elections themselves had been well run and had respected the fundamental freedoms of assembly and expression, but that a lack of impartiality and the misuse of administrative resources in campaign had “blurred the distinction between the activities of the state and those of the ruling party”.
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