Council of Europe Congress on observation mission of partial local elections in Armenia
Observation of the by-elections in Armenia: ''It seems essential for the Armenian authorities to create the conditions for genuine political pluralism'' [20/03/2013]
Observation of the by-elections in Armenia: “It seems essential for the Armenian authorities to create the conditions for genuine political pluralism”
“Practical organisation of the local by-elections in Armenia on 9 and 23 September 2012 was, on the whole, satisfactory”, said Henry Féral (France, EPP/CCE) on 20 March 2013, in the context of a debate and the adoption of a recommendation on this subject at the 24th session of the Congress. The Congress nevertheless noted some shortcomings and urged the Armenian authorities to take measures designed to prevent election rigging, in particular by systematically punishing practices involving the distribution of money observed in certain polling stations, by reminding returning officers of the absolute necessity of checking the identity of each voter against their own personal passport, by making sure that any help given to the elderly is appropriate for their actual needs. Moreover, the Congress drew up some recommendations on crowd control in the polling booths, which is largely caused by the continued presence of unauthorised persons, as well as on the representation of women in elective office. “More generally, it seems essential for the Armenian authorities to create the conditions for genuine political pluralism through the emergence of an opposition force and to strengthen local self-government”, added Mr Féral. Brian Meaney, a representative of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union, also highlighted the positive progress made in local election organisation in Armenia.
Congress rapporteurs present findings of Election observation missions to the EU Committee of the Regions [11/02/2013]
On 11 February 2013 Congress members Vincent McHugh (ILDG/Ireland) and Henry Féral (EPP/CCE/France), addressed the Committee of the Regions’ (CoR) Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs (CIVEX). They presented the findings of joint observation of elections missions carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Armenia in 2012. In a reciprocal arrangement, CoR members are invited to Congress plenary meetings to present their views.
Meeting of the Bureau of the Congress in Andorra [11/02/2013]
On the occasion of Andorra’s Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Bureau of the Congress met in Andorra-la-Vella on 11 February 2013. Bureau members examined the agenda for the 24th Session of the Congress, which will take place from 19 to 21 March 2013 in Strasbourg (France), the missions to observe local elections in Armenia (September 2012), Bosnia and Herzegovina (October 2012) and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (March 2013), as well as a draft report on the situation of local and regional democracy in Georgia. Among the other items on the agenda were co-operation activities, the Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion, European Local Democracy Week and the contribution of the Congress to the priorities of the Chairmanships of the Committee of Ministers. Herwig van Staa, President of the Congress, and Rosa Ferrer, Mayor of Andorra la Vella, held a press conference at 11am the same day at the Andorra-la-Vella Congress Centre.