Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 3
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
The April 2 parliamentary elections in Armenia were tainted by credible information about vote-buying and pressure on civil servants and employees of private companies, international observers said in a preliminary statement posted on the OSCE website April 3.
This contributed to an overall lack of public confidence and trust in the elections, the statement says.
“Yesterday’s elections marked a first step towards establishing a new political system in Armenia, but change cannot happen overnight,” said Ignacio Sanchez Amor, special coordinator and head of the short-term OSCE observer mission.
“It is a pity that, despite all of the legal and organizational changes, these elections did not remove long-standing doubts about the reliability and integrity of electoral processes in the country,” said Liliane Maury Pasquier, head of the delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The use of new voting technologies cannot alone restore confidence in elections – crucial in a genuine democracy – just the same as better legislation is only effective if applied in good faith, she added.
Meanwhile, Heidi Hautala, head of the delegation from the European Parliament, has said that regrettably, the election process was undermined by credible, recurring information of vote buying, intimidation of voters, notably civil servants in schools and hospitals, and employees of private companies.