The European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) condemns the refusal of the Armenian authorities to invite its international citizen observers to monitor the parliamentary election scheduled on 2 April 2017. Together with its Armenian member organisations Transparency International Anticorruption Center, Yerevan and the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor, EPDE strongly protest against the arbitral decision of the Armenian government.
The reason for the refusal is the allegedly high number of already accredited observers and, therefore, the lack of need for additional international observers. Both the refusal and its justification contradict the obligation of Armenia as a member of the OSCE to invite international observers from other OSCE countries, in particular the agreements set up by the 1990 CSCE/OSCE Copenhagen Document, later reafirmed in the 1999 OSCE Istanbul Document and in the Decision No. 19/06 (Paragraph 10) of the OSCE Ministerial Council Document “Strengthening the Effectiveness of the OSCE" signed in Brussels in 2006. This gives cause for serious concerns that the Armenian government might not consider the presence of international observers as an important contribution to enhancing the electoral process.
The EPDE calls upon the international community, particularly the OSCE-Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE-ODIHR), the European Union and the Council of Europe to consider this arbitral denial of accreditation for international citizen election observers during relevant meetings and negotiations with the Armenian authorities in the future.