PALLONE COMMENDS ARMENIA ON FREE & FAIR ELECTION
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, applauded Armenia this week for holding free and fair Parliamentary elections on May 12.
The New Jersey Congressman spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in honor of the election, and sent a congratulatory letter to Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan and President Robert Kocharian.
"This is the first positive assessment of an election in the former Soviet republic since it gained independence in 1991," Pallone said in his statement on the House floor. "This encouraging outcome will most certainly enhance and deepen U.S.-Armenia relations, while also elevating Armenia's reputation regionally and internationally."
On May 12, 2007 Armenia held Parliamentary elections which, based on public preliminary reports, have received a "free and fair" stamp of approval. The International Election Observation Mission issued a statement which read in part: "The election is assessed in line with OSCE and Council of Europe commitments, other international standards for democratic elections and national legislation."
"The success of this free and fair election cycle reflects the great progress made by Armenia in recent years to move further away from its Soviet past and towards a flourishing democracy," Pallone wrote to Sargsyan and Kocharian. "Your hard work and dedication has led to the citizens of your country following the lead of their government officials in operating in a free and democratic way to elect a new Parliament."
Pallone also took this opportunity to renew his commitment to the request he made earlier this year calling for $75 million in assistance for Armenia in Fiscal Year 2008. The lawmaker reminded his colleagues that the assistance would demonstrate the U.S.'s commitment to Armenia, which he called a friend and a supporter of U.S. policies for peace and security in that region of the world.