December 2, 2016 - 11:42 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The European Union has decided to allocate a financial support of up to €7 million to help implement the electoral reform agreement in Armenia, the EU said in a statement.
"Following the important first steps in the implementation of the agreement on electoral reform between the coalition and the opposition parties, drawing on consultations with civil society representatives, we count on the government to spare no efforts in realising this reform. We appreciate the commitment of the authorities to allow a fair and open competition. We expect the Central Election Commission, the law enforcement bodies and the judiciary to do their best to fulfil this promise. We perceive the presence of political will as a key prerequisite for a fair electoral process," the statement said.
"In partnership with the UNDP and the United States, the European Union has responded positively to the government’s request for assistance in funding implementation of this electoral reform package. EU financial support of up to €7 million will close the identified financial gap and will thus allow for the smooth implementation of the electoral reform agreement. This includes support to election observation. Together with the contributions of Germany and the United Kingdom, European support amounts to 90 percent of the overall financial assistance to the electoral process."
"The European Union attaches great importance to the transparency, integrity, inclusiveness and effectiveness of electoral processes. Therefore, we will continue to support the efforts of all stakeholders to ensure full alignment with international standards, including those related to the prohibition of the use of administrative resources and electoral corruption and to ensuring unhindered work by observers and media.
"Ensuring free and fair future elections will be crucial for Armenian democracy and for the country's relations with the European Union. We stand ready to continue to support Armenia on its democratic path based on the future EU-Armenia Agreement and within the larger framework of the Eastern Partnership."