As delivered by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Christopher Midura
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
February 28, 2013
The United States congratulates the people of Armenia on their February 18 presidential election. We agree with the OSCE assessment that the election was generally well-administered and characterized by a respect for fundamental freedoms, including those of assembly and expression, but some key concerns remain.
The OSCE found that the media provided balanced coverage and that all contestants made use of their free air time.
We share, however, the OSCE observers’ 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 also 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 by some serious violations, including instances 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 Armenian law enforcement officials to investigate and take appropriate action in response to credible reporting of election law violations, and we call on all parties to engage peacefully and for the government to respect fundamental freedoms and rule of law.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.