Armenia: Vote Observers More Critical
The following article appeared in the New York Times on March 8, 2008.
By Sabrina Tavernise
An election observation team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe issued a second report on the presidential election that handed an overwhelming victory to the prime minister, delivering a more negative assessment of the Feb. 19 vote and its recount than it initially gave. The report documented numerous cases of violence, including a case in which a domestic observer lost consciousness, and “implausibly high voter turnout” at a number of polling stations. It assessed the vote count at 17 percent of the stations as “bad or very bad” and reported “significant procedural errors,” including placing ballots on the wrong candidate’s pile.