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MARCH 7. Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly President Peter Schieder and Secretary General Walter Schwimmer today expressed their concern that the Armenian presidential elections fell short of international standards for democratic elections. They considered this to be all the more serious, as free and fair elections are the basis of democracy. ARMINFO was informed in the CE.

“It is now of the utmost importance that the administrative and judicial authorities carefully examine electoral complaints and appeals in a transparent and credible manner. This is an essential condition for re-establishing confidence in the electoral process, with a view to the forthcoming legislative elections in May,” Walter Schwimmer pointed out.

“Following serious irregularities reported after the first round, we made a series of requests to ensure better conduct of the second round. We very much regret that these requests were not met,” Peter Schieder stressed.

“The full extent of responsibility for, and the impact of, the irregularities are yet to be determined, but it is already clear that they cannot remain without consequences. The issue will be raised in forthcoming meetings at parliamentary and ministerial level”, concluded the Council of Europe leaders.

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