February 18, 2013
A high-level team of independent foreign parliamentarians and other experts has set out from
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
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,"
, 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
, a member of the British House of Lords. Others include:
, a member of the Slovak National Council; Sir
, a British MP and former minister in the current UK government;
, a former British MP;
, a British Parliamentary Correspondent since 1978; and
, 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
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
Golden Tulip Hotel Tuesday, 19 February at
About the Armenian Free Society Institute