WASHINGTON–The Armenian National Committee of America welcomed the Republic of Armenia’s presidential elections as a major democratic accomplishment–describing Armenia as a fortress of democracy in a region of shaky authoritarian regimes.
Following the close of balloting in the electoral contest between Acting-President and Prime Minister Robert Kocharian and former Communist Party leader Karen Demirchian–ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian said–"The Armenian-American community has every reason to be proud of these presidential elections as a major manifestation of democracy in action in the Republic of Armenia. Even as we await the final results–we are encouraged by the conduct of Armenia’s electorate and share in the enthusiasm this free and fair election has generated among Armenia’s throughout the world."
"We welcome the fact that the international community chose to closely scrutinize the electoral process–applying its hardest test ever in the Newly Independent States. The international observer community witnessed the determination of the Kocharian government to work closely with the observers and to introduce the measures required to ensure high quality in the electoral process," he added.
"These elections confirm Armenia’s standing as a leader among the states of the former Soviet Union in terms of democratic pluralism–respect for the rule of law–and the fundamental right of the people to govern their own destinies. At the same time–today’s balloting underscores the troubling reality that Armenia–as a fortress of democracy in a region of shaky authoritarian regimes–remains under blockade by some of its neighbors–to the east and west–whose policies continue to threaten the peace and stability of the Caucasus," he concluded.