Armenia’s Democracy Strong; Parliamentary Elections Praised by International Observers

WASHINGTON, D.C – In a proud moment for the Republic of Armenia, the will of its citizens for a more democratic and transparent government has prevailed in open parliamentary elections, consolidating the previous gains registered during the peaceful protests for change in April of this year.

The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) congratulates Nikol Pashinyan and the citizens of Armenia, and is invigorated by the future in store for the nation. “Armenians living in Armenia and around the world should take great pride in the country’s successful elections. Since Armenia’s Velvet Revolution began last April, my heart has been full watching Armenians from all walks of life engage politically, make demands of their government, and spar progress towards a truly representative democracy. I look forward to continuing to work with Prime Minister Pashinyan, other Members of Congress, and the Armenian people as we strengthen Armenia’s democracy and our nations’ ties,” Congresswoman Jackie Spier told the Armenian Assembly. “There was a remarkable change in Armenia and at the ballot box yesterday. The way Armenia conducts itself going forward has changed, and we have the Armenian citizens and their political will for a fully free, just, and equal nation to thank. Yesterday’s elections marked an important step forward towards establishing a stronger and more robust democratic framework for Armenia, which stands in sharp contrast to the bordering hostile nations of Azerbaijan and Turkey whose governments’ corruption and unjust imprisonment of journalists worsen by the day. Armenia represents hope, and the Armenian Assembly of America represents hope, and the Armenian Assembly will do everything in its capacity to foster this courageous optimism and work with the United States Government to strengthen not only the hope but the prosperity of Armenia,” stated Armenian Assembly Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian.

US Embassy in Armenia Congratulates the People

With initial results released, the United States Embassy to Armenia stated: “Congratulations to the Armenian people on a successful election yesterday! The winners in yesterday’s elections were clearly the people of Armenia, who brought good spirit and energy to this election,” said Peter Osusky, Special Co-ordinator and leader of the short-term Organization for Secuirty and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observer mission. “Democracy cannot proceed without trust, so I am pleased that broad public trust was the central characteristic of this election. Now that voters have delivered their message, it is up to the political leadership in Armenia to ensure that this momentum is maintained, and further reforms are implemented to fully consolidate the positive assessment we are making to day.”

During the press conference, Osusky added that the observers praised the “open atmosphere” during the political campaigns that enabled real substantive debate. “Members of our own team noted with regard to the leaders’ debate held last week that they would like to see similar debates in their own countries,” Osusky said.
“Our assessment of these elections highlights that fundamental freedoms were respected, along with may other positives,” said Ambassador Urszula Gacek, Head of the Election Observation Mission from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). Published in the initial report of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), the Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the European Parliament (EP), observers affirmed that “election day proceeded calmly and free of pressure on or intimidation of voters, and voting, counting, and tabulation were assessed positively by almost all observers.”

“These elections were very well organized, with minimum irregularities and free of pressure on voters. I am very happy that, as a result, public trust in the electoral process was high,” said Heidi Hautala, Head of the delegation from the European Parliament. “We congratulate the Armenian authorities and participants in these elections and encourage the government and the National Assembly to further improve the legislation ahead of future elections.”

Having won a majority of the seats in parliament, Pashinyan has a strong mandate to continue the path of political and economic reforms ushered in by Armenia’s own Velvet Revolution.

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