YEREVAN – RA Foreign Ministry and Chief of Staff of the President described recent OSCE/ODIHR observation report as “a significant step forward”. The evaluation of the report also contains certain recommendations to make the next observation more exciting and incorporate the attribute of usefulness.
RA President Chief of Staff Vigen Sargsyan stated earlier: “The OSCE observation was conducted mainly in peaceful and competitive conditions. Of course, there were certain deficiencies, which would not affect the overall outcome of the observation”.
The official also highlights the equal media coverage that OSCE observers received during the campaign, as well as better performance by the observers: “This mission was much better prepared and more detail-oriented. During the field trip to Garni-Geghard, for instance, they were actually taking notes and paying attention to the tour-guide. The previous group was much more distracted in general and was mainly focused on the local cuisine”.
Sargsyan also mentioned that media coverage was distributed between the observers equally – regardless of the sexiness of individual observer. He also notes that this time the mission was able to successfully attract media attention at the final presentation due to unusually highly-placed and uncovered table at the press conference.
Deputy Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan also believes the observation mission was qualitatively superior to the previous one: “This group was much more excited and enthusiastic than the previous one. You could tell that they actually want to do something useful this time. They were even asking very thoughtful questions, especially during the hike to Khor Virap memorial.
Eye-witnesses have stated that some of the observers even memorized the names of several political parties running in the elections. It was also reported that the monitors were surprised and positively impressed to find no active bloodshed at the precincts.
The opposition also highly appreciated the OSCE/ODIHR report calling it “highly insightful”. Armenian National Congress representative Hrant Bagratyan voiced uncovered excitement about the monitors: “it is really encouraging to see the brave men and women from OSCE trying to make a difference in Armenia. I am truly inspired that most of the observers are actually aware in what country they currently are implementing the observation. Some of them were even able to pronounce “Armenia” without confusing it with “Romania””.
On the other hand, the OSCE monitoring team has, in turn, highly appreciated Armenia’s appreciation for their work. Head of the monitoring mission Francois-Xavier de Don believes that Armenian authorities and the society have been successfully able to properly appreciate the work of the mission.
“I believe Armenian government and the opposition are on the right track and are capable to accurately estimate our mission here. This is a significant step forward compared to the previous mission we did here. Although there were certain discrepancies and deficiencies in the appreciation of our mission by the local authorities, but they could not have a decisive effect on the outcome of the overall appreciation,” – said Don.