Assembly Statement on Parliamentary Elections in Armenia
Washington, D.C. - The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) has long advocated for and welcomes the democratic progress of Armenia. We commend the Armenian people for their civic engagement and continued participation in elections where they have regularly turned out in large numbers. In 2018, the United States congratulated the people of Armenia on the conduct of their December 9 parliamentary elections and the International Election Observer Mission involving the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and the European Parliament (EP) found that “the 9 December  early parliamentary elections were held with respect for fundamental freedoms and enjoyed broad public trust that needs to be preserved through further electoral reforms.” For Sunday's elections, multiple observer groups are present from the OSCE, Europe, the Eurasian Union, and the United States. We look forward to their assessments once again. The Assembly takes note of the vigorous campaigns being waged, the vibrancy of free speech, and the diverse voices that are putting forward their views about the important issues surrounding the security and future of the Armenian people in the aftermath of last Fall's devastating war launched by Azerbaijan with the full backing of Turkey. The Assembly agrees with the recent statement issued by Artsakh's National Assembly that “Erdogan’s uninvited visit to Artsakh's occupied territories, in particular Shushi, [is] a threat and a new attempt to display force. This is the continuation of the opening of [the military] 'trophy park' in Baku which supposes adoption of new moral and psychological pressures against the Armenian people in the post-war period.” Armenia's record on democracy stands in sharp contrast to the Erdogan and Alivev regimes' records in Turkey and Azerbaijan; another successful election in Armenia will give the United States an excellent opportunity to reward democracy and also take a stand against further ethnic cleansing and encroachment on Armenia's independence. In 1915, and after World War I, following the Armenian Genocide, Armenians were left to face alone similar threats which led to Sovietization and the continuation of the Genocide. We are dedicated to seeing that history does not repeat itself. The Assembly strongly supports the rule of law and good governance both in Armenia and Artsakh. Respecting the will of the people and the building of robust democratic institutions are cornerstones of any democracy. The Assembly believes that Armenia's young democracy, like Artsakh's, deserves support. The results of Armenia's June 20th parliamentary elections should serve as an opportunity for the country to come together and chart a course for a future that unites everyone.
We all understand this election is taking place in the context of extreme loss, pain, and continuing aggression. Democratic elections and coming together to deal with these existential challenges are all the more important now. We continue to be proud of those showing such spirit and resilience.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.