A three-day OSCE-supported workshop for Armenian law enforcement officials dealing with investigation and prosecution of election fraud and corruption started today in Yerevan.
The event organized by the OSCE Office in Yerevan in co-operation with the US Embassy in Armenia and with the EU funding brought together some 60 prosecutors and lawyers, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations active in election-related field. The workshop focused on the investigation and prosecution of election-related crimes, as well as on available civil remedies, including election-related complaints. During the event, heads of the key relevant state agencies and law enforcement officers directly involved in processing election-related complaints will share their view on adequate prosecutorial response to possible election crimes.
"This event is meant to contribute to the on-going efforts of the Armenian authorities to eradicate electoral fraud and ensure full compliance with international standards," said Ambassador Sorokin, the Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan. "I hope that the exchange of experiences will be useful for the participants in tackling potential violations in the presidential elections in February."
First Counsellor of the EU Delegation to Armenia Onno Simons said: "Enforcement of election laws and regulations is an essential element of free, fair and reliable elections, no matter where they are held. Effective enforcement not only ensures that the legal and regulatory framework for elections is applied and respected, but also assures voters of the legitimacy of the electoral process."
The workshops are conducted by representatives of the United States Department of Justice, including Richard Pilger, Director of the Election Crimes Branch of the Public Integrity Section, Kenneth Taylor, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Senior Special Agent Darrin Turpin, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and John J. Lulejian, the U.S. Embassy's Resident Legal Advisor in Armenia.
The workshop is part of a 1.7 million euro project on strengthening electoral processes in Armenia in line with international standards, implemented by the OSCE Office in Yerevan and financed by the EU.