YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation urged other major political groups on Thursday to join forces in preventing and detecting possible fraud in the upcoming presidential election.
Armen Rustamian, the ARF’s election campaign manager, said none of the nine presidential candidates can single-handedly ensure the proper conduct of the February 19 vote and suggested that they set up a joint center coordinating their anti-fraud efforts.
“We are ready to work out, together with all candidates, clear [anti-fraud] mechanisms, to create a joint oversight headquarters that would receive complaints, reports of violations,” Rustamian told reporters. “Each of us would then verify those reports through their channels, and if those reports prove true, we can, for example, issue a joint statement.”
“We consider this to be the main precondition for ensuring the proper conduct of the elections,” added the ARF leader.
Rustamian added that the ARF has already discussed the idea with other major election players but would not say how they responded to it. “We have had comprehensive negotiations, especially on this issue,” he said. “We are setting no preconditions or obstacles for working together with anyone.”
The ARF and some opposition parties already floated such an idea in the run-up to previous Armenian elections. However, it was never put into practice
In other news, ARF Bureau member and presidential candidate Vahan Hovannesian met with the ambassadors of the European Union countries and the representatives of the European Parliament at the French embassy Thursday
Issues related to the upcoming presidential election were discussed at the meeting. Hovannesian briefed the diplomats on his and the ARF’s views regarding domestic and foreign policies of Armenia. Several issues of Hovannesian’s platform also were discussed.
In other election news, Hovannesian will answer questions from Armenian citizens on a program to be broadcast live on Yerkir Media and ALM TV on Saturday, January 19 between 8 to 11 p.m. local time.
Individuals in Armenia and around the world are urged to direct their questions to Hovannesian, a member of the ARF Bureau and deputy speaker of parliament. The questions will be answered live. Questions can also be asked before the live broadcast by calling 011.37184.108.40.206 or by sending emails to [email protected].