At a glance
Supporting electoral reform in Armenia is one of the priorities of the OSCE Office in Yerevan. In its endeavours to promote democratic elections in Armenia, the Office has worked in three main areas: Supporting reform of election legislation in line with recommendations of the OSCE, ODIHR and the Council of Europe/Venice Commission; enhancing the efficiency of election administration; and strengthening the capacities of civil society in the monitoring of electoral processes.
In the run up to the Parliamentary elections of 2012 and Presidential elections of 2013 -- with the financial support of 1.7 million euros from the European Union -- the Office has embarked on implementing a large election assistance project that deals with improving electoral practices in Armenia as a cornerstone for building democratic institutions. In particular, this 18-month project includes:
The Office supports and promotes the right to freedom of assembly in general, but also in the specific context of election campaigning, when the right to conduct peaceful rallies becomes one of the criteria for evaluating a country's compliance with international standards for democratic elections.
Since 2003, the Office has worked towards the adoption of a progressive legislative framework guaranteeing freedom of assembly. It facilitated an expert review by ODIHR and the Venice Commission of the Law on Conducting Rallies, Demonstrations and Marches, which was passed by the National Assembly in April 2004.
In 2009 and 2013 the Office supported the ODIHR-lead project on public monitoring of the freedom of assembly in Armenia, which observed all major rallies in Yerevan in 2009.
The Office promotes raised public awareness on the procedures pertaining to the right to assemble by producing and disseminating public service announcements on the matter. Likewise, the Office works to train the corresponding stakeholders of the process (such as the staff of municipalities, judges, political parties and NGOs) on the requirements of the law. In addition, the Office supports the ODIHR-lead project on public monitoring of the freedom of assembly in Armenia.