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Thursday, 9 April 2009

OSCE observers will not monitor municipal (aka mayoral) election in Yerevan. Do we care?

Well, I do not. In past, I considered their presence an important tool for monitoring elections and thus contributing to the democratisation of Armenia. Now, looking back at the work of OSCE observers over the years if not decades, I am convinced that their presence did absolutely nothing for improvements of the election process. They have been monitoring all the main elections in Armenia. Have we noticed any improvements as a result? No. Quite the contrary. Their presence and preliminary ‘conclusions’ legitimised all sorts of electoral misconduct.

What we need are internal mechanisms and understandings that we have to conduct elections right. Otherwise, we will get one flawed election after another, even if invite European monitors for every single electoral district out there.

This news inspired my post.

3 comments:

nazarian said...

I wonder how much worse the 'elections' could have been if the OSCE didn't monitor them. But you are right, they gave a whiff of legitimacy to the fraud.

Myrthe said...

I don't really understand why the fact that OSCE is not going to monitor the Yerevan elections is even considered newsworthy: OSCE hardly ever monitors local elections. They have done so only twice as far as I know. There is nothing special in their not monitoring these elections.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Yeah, Myrthe is right, and even if they did, there would be so few sent they would be meaningless anyway. I'd guess you might have 12 observers maximum.

It's not a presidential or parliamentary election even though it will prove quite significant.

OSCE has monitored local elections before, but the cost of doing so really wouldn't have seen the hundreds actually needed come.

Unfortunately, I consider that the only way OSCE observation teams would be really effective is if you had them in EVERY polling station in Armenia for the whole day.

But, that's never going to happen. On the other hand, in international circles here in Yerevan there seems to be a push to really make these elections transparent.

Sure, that won't stop any vote-buying or tampering with results, but it will reveal it more than in previous elections. There's also going to be an independent opinion poll, btw.

More on all of this as of when.