Politics 17:28 21/06/2021 Armenia

Armenia’s early parliamentary elections were polarized and marred by aggressive rhetoric, international observers say

Armenia’s early parliamentary elections were competitive and well-managed within a short time frame. However, they were characterized by intense polarization and marred by increasingly inflammatory language from key contestants, as well as by the sidelining of women throughout the campaign, international observers said in a statement today.

The joint observation mission from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), concluded that the electoral legal framework is generally comprehensive, but some shortcomings still remain. The observers noted that while recent changes in the electoral system were broadly debated and supported by the majority of political parties and civil society groups, the fact that amendments were adopted so close to the elections caused legal uncertainty and left little time to implement the new rules or inform voters about the changes.

“Despite the limited time for the implementation of the recent amendments to the electoral code, the administration of the elections was positively assessed by the majority of our observers,” said Margareta Cederfelt, Special Co-ordinator and leader of the short-term OSCE observer mission. “Most of our observers also assessed election day positively, up to and including the vote count.”

National security issues dominated the political discourse in the pre-campaign and campaign periods. However, the debate was driven by increasingly aggressive language and accusations, worsening the high degree of polarization and further reducing attention to political programmes and policy.

Election day itself was generally peaceful, and observers made an overwhelmingly positive assessment of the voting processes in the polling stations visited. However, many polling stations were inaccessible for voters with disabilities, and there was frequent overcrowding. There were also some cases of interference in the voting process by party or alliance proxies. At the same time, observers found that the vote counting process went well and was highly transparent.

“The deep polarization didn’t detract from a well-run election,” said George Katrougalos, Head of the PACE delegation. “It is to be hoped that the results will be accepted by all parties across the political spectrum, and the harsh rhetoric of the campaign will be consigned to history.”

During the brief campaign period, candidates were able to campaign freely, and the fundamental freedoms key to democratic elections were generally respected. Observers noted that in some cases there was pressure on workers in both the private and public sector to take part in specific campaign events, while allegations of vote buying and the misuse of state resources continued throughout the campaign period. Despite the fact that women candidates were included in the party lists, observers noted that their visibility during the campaign was markedly low.

“While the recently introduced electoral changes have resulted in larger representation of women in the candidate lists, they remained largely absent from the public discourse during the campaign,” said Kari Henriksen, Head of the OSCE PA delegation. “It is important that women are not just equally represented, but are also given the opportunity to engage actively in public and political life.”

Freedom of expression is guaranteed by the constitution. However, cases of journalists being harassed in the course of their duties raises questions about respect for media freedom. The observer mission’s media monitoring found that several media outlets made a visible effort to cover a wide range of contestants, organizing debates that helped ensure voters had enough information to make an informed choice on election day. At the same time, there are long-standing concerns about the political affiliation of private broadcasters.

“All candidates could campaign freely throughout the election process, and it was good to see the election authorities deliver on their mandate professionally,” said Eoghan Murphy, Head of the ODIHR election observation mission. “But the antagonistic language we heard during the campaign was not in any way constructive for an informed public debate.”

The international election observation mission to the Armenian parliamentary elections totalled 341 observers from 37 countries, composed of 249 ODIHR-deployed experts and long-term and short-term observers, 71 parliamentarians and staff from the OSCE PA, and 21 from PACE.

Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:


Simon Martirosyan: From Dadivank to Tokyo
Armenian weightlifter Simon Martirosyan (109 kg) was expected to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Martirosyan successfully lifted 195 kg in...
Vahan Hunanyan appointed Foreign Ministry spokesperson
Vahan Hunanyan has been appointed spokesperson of Armenia’s Foreign Ministry. A relevant order has been signed by acting Foreign...
Tokyo Olympics: Armenian wrestler Arsen Harutyunyan left out of competition
Armenian freestyle wrestler Arsen Harutyunyan has been left out of the competition at the Tokyo Olympics, the National Olympic Committee...
28 people killed in fires in Georgia this year
According to the National Statistics Office, 6,286 fires were reported in Georgia in the first two quarters of this year, killing 28 people and...
Artak Zakaryan: Authorities' 'fears are turning into nightmares'
Former Deputy Defense Minister of Armenia, RPA member Artak Zakaryan says the Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia (PAARA)...
One more Armenian soldier’s body found in Artsakh search operations
Artsakh rescuers on Wednesday found the remains of another fallen Armenian soldier as a result of their search operations for the 2020 Artsakh...
Three killed as passenger trains collide in Czech Republic
Two passenger trains collided in the southwest of the Czech Republic on Wednesday, killing three people and injuring dozens of...
Armenian forces prevent attempt by Azerbaijani drone to enter Armenia’s airspace
An Azerbaijani UAV attempted to cross into Armenia’s airspace in the Gegharkunik section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on Wednesday,...
Edgar Ghazaryan: Another general, who demanded Pashinyan's resignation, sacked
Another general, who demanded the resignation of Nikol Pashinyan and his cabinet back in February, has been dismissed, Edgar Ghazaryan, former...
Attack targeting acting Afghan defense minister leaves 8 dead
A bombing attack that targeted Afghanistan’s acting defense minister killed at least eight people and wounded 20, authorities said...
Opposition MP to Armenia’s defense minister: ‘Who gave you the right to congratulate authorities on behalf of all servicemen?’
Security expert, MP Tigran Abrahamyan from the opposition I’m Honored bloc, denounced Armenia’s new Defense Minister Arshak...
Armenia reports 280 new COVID-19 cases on August 4
Armenia has confirmed 280 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 230,993 as of 11 a.m. Wednesday, August 4, the...
'France will always stand by you', Macron tells Armenians
French President Emmanuel Macron once again expressed support to Armenians in a post on Twitter on Tuesday, announcing the country’s...
Civil Contract MPs vote to elect Hakob Arshakyan deputy parliament speaker
Hakob Arshakyan from the ruling Civil Contract Party was elected Deputy Speaker of the Armenian National Assembly on Wednesday. 71 out of...
Rustam Badasyan set to head Armenia’s State Revenue Committee
Former Justice Minister of Armenia Rustam Badasyan is set to be appointed Chairman of the State Revenue Committee, according to the official...
Ombudsman: Azerbaijani servicemen stole 8 cows and 1 bull belonging to 3 families in Armenia’s Syunik
Azerbaijani servicemen stole 8 cows and 1 bull belonging to 3 families from the villages of Davit Bek and Chakaten in the Kapan community...
Situation on Armenian-Azerbaijani border relatively stable – Defense Ministry
The situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border was relatively stable on the night of August 4 and in the morning, the Defense Ministry of...
Kit Harington says ‘Game of Thrones’ ‘directly’ led to his mental health issues
Kit Harington has opened up about the toll Game of Thrones took on his mental health, revealing he had to take a year off after the HBO epic...
Armenian General Staff chief hosts Russian ambassador
Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian military, Lieutenant-General Artak Davtyan on Tuesday hosted Russian Ambassador to Armenia Sergey...
Armenian weightlifter Simon Martirosyan wins Olympic silver
Armenian weightlifter Simon Martirosyan won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday. The athlete finished second in the men’s...
Arsen Babayan deplores ‘very unpleasant sight’ at parliament
Arsen Babayan, a former deputy chief of the parliament staff and former head of the parliament press service, took to Facebook on Tuesday to...
Georgia reports record 4,827 daily COVID-19 cases
The number of coronavirus infections in Georgia went up by 4,827 in the past 24 hours, reaching the highest daily number so far this year, TASS...
Tokyo Olympics: Armenia's Artur Aleksanyan wins silver
Armenian Greco-Roman wrestler, Olympic champion Artur Aleksanyan (97 kg) won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday. Aleksanyan...
Aronian advances to Chessable Masters quarterfinals
Armenian GM Levon Aronian has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Chessable Masters, the eighth leg of the Champions Chess Tour. He was...
Senior UN officials: Breastfeeding central to eliminating child malnutrition
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore and WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a joint statement on the occasion of...
‘Discussions are underway’: MP comments on proposed deployment of Russian border guards along Armenian-Azeri border
The talks on the deployment of Russian border guards along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border are underway, ruling Civil Contract faction MP Ruben...
Russian peacekeepers practice modern combat tactics at training ground in Artsakh
As part of planned combat training exercises, the military personnel of CSS unit of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in...
Ishkhan Saghatelyan named opposition candidate for deputy parliament speaker
Armenia bloc MP Ishkhan Saghatelyan, a member of the ARF Supreme Council, has been named the opposition candidate for the post of deputy...
Twitter to collaborate with news sites to tackle disinformation
Twitter will collaborate with two of the largest international news providers, Reuters and the Associated Press, to debunk disinformation on its...
Armenia reports 237 fresh coronavirus cases on August 3
Armenia has confirmed 237 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 230,713 as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, August 3, the...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}