YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The United States Information Service released a statement by United States Department of State Deputy Spokesman James Foley regarding the Armenian presidential election:
"The United States welcomes the March 3 statement by Ambassador Sam Brown–the OSCE Special Representative for the Armenian Presidential Elections on March 16. The statement recommen’s several steps the Armenian government should take during the electoral process–including allowing domestic observers; providing to all candidates access to state controlled media; ensuring that campaigns and voting are conducted without intimidation; addressing the issue of police and Ministry of Interior force presence at polling stations; posting precinct election protocols immediately after the vote count; and addressing issues surrounding foreign voting. The United States supports the OSCE’s recommendations–which are designed to promote transparency–fairness and credibility in the elections. We urge the Armenian government to address these issues as soon as possible.
Free and fair presidential elections in March 1998 will be a significant event in Armenia’s democratic development. The building of democratic institutions is vital to Armenia’s stability and–combined with continued economic reform–will provide a firm foundation for the country’s future growth and prosperity. We will continue our active engagement with Armenian government officials as they implement democratic reforms."