- Title: ARMENIA: OSCE OBSERVERS CLAIM ARMENIA ELECTIONS BIAS
- Date: 5th July 1995
- Summary: YEREVAN, ARMENIA (JULY 5-6, 1995) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) (JULY 5, 1995) 1. SLV EXT. POLLING STATION (NIGHT SHOT) 0.04 2. SLV INT. POLLING STATION/ SV PEOPLE REGISTERING (3 SHOTS) 0.19 3. SV MAN VOTING, PLACES BALLOT IN BOX 0.26 4. SV WOMAN LOCKING DOOR OF POLLING STATION 0.30 5. SV BALLOT BOX SEALED 5. BALLOT BOX SEALED 0.40 6. SV ORGANISATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE) ELECTION OBSERVERS 0.44 7. SV BALLOT BOX OPENED/ BALLOT PAPERS POURED ON TABLE (2 SHOTS) 0.57 8. MCU/SV/SLV VOTES BEING SORTED AND COUNTED (3 SHOTS) 1.17 (JULY 6, 1995) 9. GV/SV ORGANISATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE) ELECTION OBSERVERS SEATED ROUND TABLE (2 SHOTS) 1.26 10. SV HEAD OF OBSERVERS DELEGATION ANNETTE JUST FROM DENMARK 1.45 11. GV/SV OBSERVERS AND REPORTERS AROUND TABLE (2 SHOTS) 1.50 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVA9OXFS5DCX6DE11HG7T03W5RDO
- Location: YEREVAN, ARMENIA
- Country: Armenia EUROPE
- Duration: 00:01:50
- Story Text: A group of Western observers on Thursday (July 6) attacked parliamentary elections in the former Soviet republic of Armenia, saying the polls on Wednesday (July 5) had been heavily biased in favour of the government and ruling party.
A parliamentary delegation from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said in a statement that opposition parties had been systematically harassed before the elections and were not given the chance to compete fairly.
"Therefore (we) believe the elections may only be considered by international standards as being generally free but not fair," said the statement, read out to a news conference.
The OSCE delegation is one of several groups of foreign observers to monitor Wednesday's general elections, the first in Armenia since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
Voters were electing 190 members of parliament and deciding whether to approve a constitution increasing the authority of President Levon Ter-Petrosyan to what opposition leaders and some diplomats fear would be alarming levels.
"The heavy involvement of the executive branch of government through the broadcasting and distribution of biased information to voters...greatly overshadowed opposition points of view," said the OSCE observers.
The head of the CIS observers said that the elections were carried out under extreme economic conditions and Armenia was a good example for everyone attempting to hold elections under difficult circumstances.
"Armenia is subjected to full and partial blockades from various states and to carry out elections under such difficult economic conditions requires strong political power," Yevgeny Pavlov said.
"The Armenian government is powerful and we need to follow their example and be able to carry out elections under any circumstances." Parliamentary spokesman Vakhgan Mkrtchyan said first results showed the ruling All-Armenian National Movement party and its allies heading for victory, although he conceded there had been many complaints about the polls.
Mkrtchyan said the referendum also seemed to have gone the government's way.
Opposition parties and foreign diplomats said before the voting that the elections were unfair and alleged rules were being manipulated to shut some parties out.
Central election commission officials, responding to complaints about lengthy queues in some polling stations, extended the voting time by two hours to 10.00 pm (1800 GMT) and installed extra polling booths, but some people went away disappointed.
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