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Human Rights Democracy around the World ALDE/ELDR

European Liberals demand free and fair elections in Armenia

   Wed 01/02/2012

“The tragic events of 8 March following the fraudulent Presidential elections of 2008 in Armenia must not be repeated in the upcoming elections this May”, said ELDR Vice President Lousewies van der Laan during a visit to Yerevan, Armenia on 28/29 January 2012.

ELDR member party Armenian National Movement (ANM) together with the South Caucasus Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty organized a seminar on political pluralism and international standards for free and fair elections that featured the ELDR Vice President as the key note speaker.

“European Liberals are particularly watchful in the run-up of the Armenian parliamentary elections as the ELDR Party will meet for its annual spring council meeting on 11 and 12 May in Yerevan gathering around 150 liberal delegates from ELDR’s 54 member parties across Europe” underlined Lousewies van der Laan during the seminar with around 70 participants from the Armenian political opposition as well as observers from EU and OSCE.

Liberals from Armenia and the European guests assessed the status quo of the election preparations and discussed best practices of electoral observer missions in order to ensure non-biased preparations of the elections and a fraud-free on election day.

“European Liberals also ask the European People’s Party’s leadership and main sister parties to take their responsibility and remind their Armenian member parties in government to ensure genuine elections that reflect the will of the people. The European Union is a community of common values and we therefore have a shared responsibility to guarantee fundamental democratic procedures in the immediate neighborhood of the EU”, the ELDR Vice President stressed. The economic situation is also cause for concern: “European Liberals can not stand idly by while citizens in our neighbourhood unnecessarily remain in poverty due to self-interested oligarchs”, Lousewies van der Laan concluded.