Tuesday, 15 May 2007

US disagree with the EU that Armenian elections "on the whole" met international standards

In a stark contrast with the EU officials' tone, White House was very cautious in its reflection of Armenian parliamentary elections conduct, stressing the need for authorities to investigate observed irregularities. US administration welcomed elections as "an improvement over past elections", "a step in the right direction towards meeting international standards". However, White House made very different from the EU conclusion based on the same observers' statements: "it did not fully meet international standards".

Below is an intriguing extract from the State Department daily press briefing in relation to Armenian elections. I wonder, will Armenian Public TV publicise it?

Unfortunately, I doubt that White House statement has anything to do with the desire to promote democracy in Armenia. They had numerous chances in past, but failed to do so due to 'strategic', 'geopolitical' interests, as always. This may be intentional move from US administration side, with or without agreement with the EU, to have 'flexibility' in dealing with Armenian government.


Press Release:
US State Department Daily Press Briefing
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC May 14, 2007

QUESTION: Do you have anything on the elections in Armenia?

MR. CASEY: Anything on the elections in Armenia? Well, I've got a little bit on that, I think. Basically, we do congratulate the Armenian people on their parliamentary elections and share with the international observers who were present the view that the election infrastructure has been greatly improved and that this is a step in the right direction towards meeting international standards. We do hope, however, that the Government of Armenia will aggressively investigate allegations that are there of electoral wrongdoing and prosecute people in accordance with Armenian law. So all and all, I think this is an improvement over past elections; though certainly if you look at what the observers said, it did not fully meet international standards.

QUESTION: So you essentially disagree with the European Union statement, on the whole meeting the standards --

MR. CASEY: We, again I'd note that the comments that have been made by the various observers that this was an improvement, just not if you look at what the OSCE observers have said. There's still some ways to go before you would have an election that fully meets all the international standards.

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