YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The human rights organization Fund Against Violation of Law protested the statemen’s of the OSCE observers mission and the US Department of State–wherein the participation of "non-citizens–refugees and residents of Azerbaijan" in the presidential election was recognized as a major violation in the election process. A statement of protest was made public by Executive Director of the Fund Larisa Alaverdian at a Friday press conference.
It was noted at the press conference that neither the OSCE nor other international organizations have ever considered the question of ensuring safe return of Armenian refugees to their homes. The Fund accused OSCE and other organizations of double standards in dealing with refugees.
According to Alaverdian–refugees in Armenia have full right to participate in the presidential elections.
The Fund called on all political and public organizations to defend the rights of refugees who make up 12 percent of the electorate in Armenia.
Alaverdian admitted that the problem of participation of refugees in the elections was also caused by flaws in the current legislation. She–in particular–said that the residential permit seals–the so-called propiska–put numerous obstacles in resolving this problem. Alaverdian blamed the Central Electoral Commission for failing to secure a mechanism for refugee participation in the elections.