June 1, 2009 - 18:48 AMT
Transparency International shocked by yesterday's elections
"We are just shocked by what we saw with our own eyes. Never before were such kind of cynical and illegitimate elections held in Armenia. If elections in our country are marred by such disgrace, why do we conduct them at all?" Amalia Kostanyan, Chairwoman of Transparency International-Armenia, told a news-conference.

Mr. Kostanyan distinguished 3 stages of falsifications and wrongdoings during elections. First stage (08-10 a.m.): minor breaches, including ballot box stuffing and repeated voting. Second stage (around 12:00): intimidation of observers and journalists by skinheads and bodyguards of some local leaders (authorities). Third stage (from 05:00 p.m.): disputes among commission members on the number of ballots to be cast in favor of this or that candidate. "Perhaps, the preliminary agreement was breached," Ms. Kostanyan noted.

She particularly focused on polling station N.8 where there were no opposition representatives. "I am sure that even if some representative of Heritage Party had been present there, he wouldn't have managed to cope with the situation," she added.