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Embassy News 2013

Statement on the Armenian Elections by U.S. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland

Armenian Presidential Elections

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 20, 2013

The United States congratulates the people of Armenia on their February 18 presidential elections, which were judged by international observers to be generally well-administered and characterized by a respect for fundamental freedoms, including those of assembly and expression. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) found that the media fulfilled its legal obligation to provide balanced coverage, and that all contestants made use of their free air time.

We share, however, OSCE/ODIHR’s concerns about a lack of impartiality on the part of the public administration and the misuse of administrative resources that resulted in a blurred distinction between the activities of the state and those of the ruling party, both during the pre-election period and on Election Day. We agree with the findings that while Election Day was calm and orderly, it was marked by undue interference in the process, mainly by proxies representing the incumbent, and some serious violations, including cases of pressure on voters.

The United States will continue to monitor the findings of international and domestic election observers, as well as the adjudication of election grievances during the post-election period. We urge law enforcement officials to investigate and to take appropriate action in response to credible reporting of election violations, and we call on all parties to remain calm in this post-election period and to exercise restraint in their actions.