This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration. Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
February 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
A high-level team of independent foreign parliamentarians and other experts has set out from
Yerevan to assess
Armenia's adherence to international election standards in the nation's presidential election being held today (18 February).
The group was invited to participate by the Free Society Institute (FSI), one of
Armenia's oldest and largest NGOs promoting democratic values. The FSI will have 1,468 officially accredited local observers monitoring the voting process across the country. The international team has been invited to observe today's voting and assists the FSI in its observing mission.
"With 12 officially accredited international observer groups and many domestic organizations watching this election, we wanted the benefit of highly experienced and impartial advice,"
Edgar Hagopian, FSI's president, said. "We took the decision to invite a group of sitting MPs and other experts to provide a fresh perspective."
The advisory group is led by UK Member of Parliament Gisela Stuart and Lord
Chris Rennard, a member of the British House of Lords. Others include:
Juraj Droba, a member of the Slovak National Council; Sir
Nick Harvey, a British MP and former minister in the current UK government;
Paul Keetch, a former British MP;
Ian Hernon, a British Parliamentary Correspondent since 1978; and
Peter Hayes, a broadcast journalist and Parliamentary correspondent.
The FSI's Mr. Hagopian said, "We very much appreciate having our own voice advocating the continued steady progress in our elections strengthened by the participation of this group of independent experts."
The team arrived on Saturday and has visited campaign offices and been briefed by domestic experts. Today they set off in two groups to visit multiple polling stations (both within
Yerevan and out of the city in rural locations). They will present a preliminary report at a press conference to be held in the Pucini Room of
Yerevan's Golden Tulip Hotel Tuesday, 19 February at
About the Armenian Free Society Institute