Politics 19:55 18/12/2018 Armenia

Adam Schiff hails Armenia’s parliamentary election as ‘exciting’ step towards democracy

The U.S. Congress and the Administration congratulated Nikol Pashinyan and the citizens of Armenia on last week’s historic parliamentary elections, the Armenian Assembly of America said in a statement.

Spearheaded by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chair Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), U.S. representatives sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter of congratulations on December 14 to Pashinyan. In addition to Senator Markey and Congressman Pallone, the letter was also signed by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), along with Armenian Caucus leaders David Trott (D-MI), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).

“Since April of last year, the Republic of Armenia has seen a remarkable change in its government through peaceful and democratic means. This change was motivated by the Armenian people strongly expressing their desire for an open democracy.  Sunday’s election was another resounding victory for advocates of a free and fair electoral process and ongoing democratic reforms,” the letter stated.

“We will continue to identify opportunities to aid Armenia’s efforts to diversify its economy, strengthen its trade ties with countries like the United States, and continue to act as a safe haven for religious minorities fleeing persecution in the Middle East.  We are proud of the strong bilateral relationship between our two countries and look forward to bolstering our historic ties and friendship,” Senator Markey and Congressman Pallone jointly stated.

“The past six months have seen an unprecedented political transition in Armenia, and the conduct of a free and fair parliamentary election on December 9 was an exciting and welcome step on the pathway towards an invigorated Armenian democracy. I look forward to working to deepen and strengthen our country’s ties to Armenia – economic, military, and political – and to ensure we provide all appropriate assistance as our friend and ally Armenia navigates towards a bright, democratic future,” House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Ranking Member and Armenian Caucus Co-Vice Chair Adam Schiff said to the Armenian Assembly.

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino also issued a statement on behalf of the U.S. government congratulating the people of Armenia on the conduct of their parliamentary elections.

“We welcome the assessment by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights that Armenia’s parliamentary elections were competitive and that candidates were able to campaign freely. The United States concurs with the OSCE’s preliminary conclusions that the elections process enjoyed broad public trust and respected fundamental freedoms. We encourage the authorities to address OSCE and Venice Commission recommendations for future elections,” stated the State Department deputy spokesperson.

Source Panorama.am
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