Sunday, December 04, 2005

EU Statement on Constitution Referendum in Armenia

Pan Armenian
03.12.2005 19:32 GMT+04:00

The EU welcomes the Government of Armenia's positive role in the process of constitutional reform and believes that the package of amendments to the Constitution proposed by the Government of Armenia will pave the way for the strengthening of democracy in Armenia. The British Embassy today issued this press release on the November 27 referendum on changes to the Constitution of Armenia on behalf of the European Union member states. The message specifically says, "However, the EU is concerned at reports of ballot stuffing and manipulation of the turnout figures and of intimidation of local observers during the referendum held on 27 November. A failure to prevent activities such as this call into question Armenia's commitment to transparency and democracy. The EU commends the efforts of the Council of Europe observation team and notes their statement of 28 November. The EU urges the Government of Armenia, and specifically the Central Election Commission, to take seriously the Council of Europe observers' recommendation of a thorough investigation into the allegations of fraud, and calls on the Government of Armenia to ensure that those responsible are brought to account.

Proper conduct of the whole electoral process is crucial for the democratic credentials of Armenia, particularly in view of the parliamentary and presidential elections which are due to be held in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Against this background, the EU would have welcomed a decision by the Government of Armenia to invite the OSCE/ODIHR to observe the referendum. The EU would also have welcomed the participation of the opposition parties in Armenia in the referendum and regrets their decision to withdraw their members from the election commissions. The EU calls on all parties to ensure that any demonstrations continue to be peaceful in nature." It should be noted that as acceding states Bulgaria and Romania are fully associated with the statement.

No comments:

Post a Comment