YEREVAN (Yerkir)–US Ambassador to Armenia John Ordway met with lead ARF representatives on January 24 to discuss issues related to conducting free and fair presidential elections in February.
The ARF representation consisted of ARF Bureau member Vahan Hovhannisian–ARF Armenia Supreme Body (SB) representative Armen Rustamian–SB member Gegham Manukian and ARF Bureau Political and Hai Tahd Office Director Giro Manoyan.
The parties discussed the current pre-election situation–as well as undertakings aimed at ensuring the fairness of the election process. Ambassador Ordway briefed the ARF representatives on the objectives and suggestions of international organizations due in Armenia to monitor the elections.
At Ordway’s request–Rustamian presented details of a series of talks (held in November-December of 2002) between the ARF and Armenian political parties–in an attempt to lay the groundwork for free and fair elections. He also gave details on the Memorandum that emerged following the talks.
ARF representatives underscored the importance of forming legitimate authorities to secure stability in the country. They also briefed the ambassador on the undertakings by Robert Kocharian’s campaign office.
US embassy staff members Paul Wickberg–Political and Economic Section Chief and Alla Bakunts–Political Analyst–accompanied Ordway.