By Emil Danielyan
The U.S. ambassador to Armenia, John Ordway, told election chiefs in Yerevan Thursday that he witnessed “numerous shortcomings” in some of the polling stations he visited on election day last week.
Ordway was quoted as saying at a meeting with the chairman of the Central Election Commission, Artak Sahradian, that he monitored the voting process in 15 polling stations across Armenia on February 19 and came away with mixed impressions. “According to the ambassador, part of the precincts monitored by him functioned in a clear and flawless manner, while in the other precincts the observers registered unprofessional work [of election commissions] and numerous shortcomings,” the CEC said in a statement.
The statement did not detail the irregularities cited by Ordway. It also quoted the envoy as praising the authorities for reducing widespread inaccuracies in voter lists ahead of the balloting.
Sahradian, according to the statement, assured him that “everything will be done to rectify the shortcomings of the electoral system and ensure a normal course of the second round of the presidential elections.”
Ordway has repeatedly stressed the importance of holding free and fair elections in Armenia. “Any significant irregularities in the process will cast doubt on the legitimacy of the whole process and, therefore, on the result,” he warned in a statement on January 24.