The PACE monitoring mission headed by Baronesse Emma Nicholson visited Armenia on 11-12 April. Its aim was to check the parliamentary election campaign before the voting scheduled on 6 May 2012.
The head of the delegation said that the atmosphere prior the elections is tense while political parties behave in an aggressive manner. The observers, however, expect that the international voting standards will be maintained. The authorities assured the delegation that the upcoming elections will be formally perfect. “We expect Armenia to fulfil the obligations assumed”, concluded Nicholson at a press conference on 12 April.
Nicholson told journalists about the meeting with the President, the head of the Central Election Commission, the police chief, representatives of parliamentary and non-parliamentary groups, public organizations and media. In her opinion, the problems had been already discussed in media, which was a sign of a fairly transparent campaign.
Nicholson enhanced also that the Mission cannot take the responsibility for conducting democratic elections. Much depends on the society who must take steps to prevent violations. The head of the delegation announced that 28 observers from PACE are to come back at the beginning of May.
During the elections, a group of more than 250 observers from OSCE/ODIHR is also prepared to visit Armenia, who, however, has not yet granted an official consent.
Translated by KD