Azerbaijan, Baku, June 2 / Trend , E. Ostapenko/
Noting progress in conduct of municipal elections in Yerevan, delegation of the Council of Europe Congress witnessed irregularities as well, the organization's press release said.
"Our satisfaction in seeing the citizens electing their city council, has been tempered by deficiencies in the conduct of the vote", said the head of the Congress observation delegation to Yerevan Nigel Mermagen
Yerevan held first municipal elections in Armenia's present-day history. The elections were held under party lists. Earlier, the mayor of Armenia's capital city was appointed by the government, but after adopting a new Law on Yerevan, city council of parliamentarians which existed in the early 1990's was restored.
The Congress concluded that the overall organization of the elections has been broadly carried out in compliance with European standards unlike elections which took place in Yerevan in September 2008.
Nevertheless, the Congress delegation found that the political actors in Armenia should change attitude and behavior so that the practical conduct of elections, as well as the democratic culture of the country could further improve in the future.
"Democracy is not only about the organizational framework of elections. It is about electoral conduct and culture. Elections have to be clear, fair and transparent even beyond polling stations", concluded Nigel Mermagen.
Several days before the elections, the mission of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe expressed concerns about law observance in the election campaign for the municipal elections in Yerevan.
According to early reports, ruling Republican Party of Armenia won the municipal elections in Armenia by 47 percent of votes, Mediamax reported.
Prosperous Armenia, part of the ruling coalition won 23 percent of votes. Opposition Armenian National Congress led by former president Levon Ter-Petrosian ranks third with around 18 percent of votes.
As Republican Party of Armenia has won over 40 percent of votes, leader of the pre-election list and current mayor of Armenia Gagik Beglaryan will be mayor of Yerevan.
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe monitored the elections. During both the pre-election and the election observation missions, the members of the delegation met with representatives of the government, the political parties and the media as well as with NGOs and Ambassadors.
The Congress was the only international organization to monitor municipal elections in Yerevan.
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