By empty (2/20/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)In a joint statement released on 20 February before the runoff was announced, election monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe said that the 19 February Armenian presidential election \"fell short of international standards in several key respects,\" RFE/RL\'s Armenian Service reported. The statement said that while the voting process was in general \"well-conducted,\" there were instances of ballot-box stuffing and \"serious irregularities\" during the vote count. OSCE Observation Mission head Peter Eicher noted a \"striking disparity\" between voter turnout and official results at some polling stations but declined to comment on whether such irregularities could affect the outcome of the vote.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.