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Monitors Give Armenian Election Mixed Marks

  • VOA News

Armenian voter holds ballot paper at polling station during parliamentary election, Yerevan, May 6, 2012.

Armenian voter holds ballot paper at polling station during parliamentary election, Yerevan, May 6, 2012.

International observers laud country's electoral reforms and its open, peaceful campaign, but criticize some violations

International monitors have praised Sunday's elections in Armenia as competitive and peaceful, but criticized violations they say undermined the vote, including pressure on voters and an inadequate complaints process.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said Monday that Armenia deserves recognition for its electoral reforms and its open and peaceful campaign. But OSCE observers said the sound legal framework under which the vote was held was marred by irregularities where stakeholders failed to comply with the law and election commissions failed to enforce it.

Results released Monday show Armenian President Serzh Sarkisyan's ruling party won a majority of seats in Sunday's parliamentary elections.

Armenia's Central Election Commission said Sarkisyan's Republican Party took 44 percent of the vote, with former coalition partner, the Prosperous Armenia party, coming in second with 30 percent.

The opposition Armenian National Congress, led by former president Levon Ter-Petrosian, finished a distant third.

The parliamentary campaigns centered on unemployment, poverty and Armenia's long-running disputes with neighbors Turkey and Azerbaijan.

A disputed presidential poll in 2008 sparked deadly clashes between police and protesters.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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