Efficient prosecution and investigation of election-related crimes | EUNewsletter

Efficient prosecution and investigation of election-related crimes

13 February 2013

Ahead of the February presidential elections, a three-day workshop for Armenian law-enforcement officials on investigating electoral fraud was organised in Yerevan on 16 January. This workshop is part of a €1.7 million project which is focused on strengthening electoral processes in Armenia and bringing them in line with international standards, implemented by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office in Yerevan and financed by the EU.
Onno Simons, the Head of the Political, Economic, Press and Information Section of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, explained the complexity of the project during the workshop and how it addresses various aspects of elections, including both the National Assembly and presidential elections: ‘The aim of the project is to raise the technical capacities of the Central Election Commission and the Police, as well as to enhance the professional capacities of other electoral commissions and law-enforcement bodies. The project also provides support to domestic observer groups, finances the monitoring of broadcast and print media, and raises awareness on electoral rights and procedures among the population’.

Simons stressed that the enforcement of electoral law and regulations was an essential element of free, fair and reliable elections, no matter where they were 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 opening event was also attended by Minister of Justice Hrair Tovmasyan, Prosecutor General Aghvann Hovsepyan, Head of Police Service Vladimir Gasparyan, Deputy Head of OSCE Office in Yerevan William Halon, Chief of the Counterpart International Armenia Office Carel Hofstra, and others.

Tovmasyan stressed that Armenia primarily needed to conduct more democratic elections. He listed the three key preconditions for democratic polls: electoral legislation, raising levels of political and legal culture in society, and the will of the ruling authorities to run democratic elections.

The workshop focused on investigating and prosecuting election-related crimes, as well as available civil remedies, including election-related complains. The discussion, which was organised in cooperation with the US Embassy in Armenia, brought together over 60 prosecutors and lawyers, as well as representatives of non-governmental organisations active in election-related issues.

The workshop was conducted by representatives of the United States Department of Justice, including Richard Pilger, Director of the Election Crimes Branch of the Public Integrity Section.

Efficient prosecution and investigation of election-related crimes

Ahead of the February presidential elections, a three-day workshop for Armenian law-enforcement officials on investigating electoral fraud was organised in Yerevan on 16 January. This workshop is part of a €1.7 million project which is focused on strengthening electoral processes in Armenia and bringing them in line with international standards, implemented by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office in Yerevan and financed by the EU. Onno Simons, the Head of the Political, Economic, Press and Information Section of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, explained the complexity of the project during the workshop and how it addresses various aspects of elections, including both the National Assembly and presidential elections: ‘The aim of the project is to raise the technical capacities of the Central Election Commission and the Police, as well as to enhance the professional capacities of other electoral commissions and law-enforcement bodies. The project also provides support to domestic observer groups, finances the monitoring of broadcast and print media, and raises awareness on electoral rights and procedures among the population’. Simons stressed that the enforcement of electoral law and regulations was an essential element of free, fair and reliable elections, no matter where they were 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 opening event was also attended by Minister of Justice Hrair Tovmasyan, Prosecutor General Aghvann Hovsepyan, Head of Police Service Vladimir Gasparyan, Deputy Head of OSCE Office in Yerevan William Halon, Chief of the Counterpart International Armenia Office Carel Hofstra, and others. Tovmasyan stressed that Armenia primarily needed to conduct more democratic elections. He listed the three key preconditions for democratic polls: electoral legislation, raising levels of political and legal culture in society, and the will of the ruling authorities to run democratic elections. The workshop focused on investigating and prosecuting election-related crimes, as well as available civil remedies, including election-related complains. The discussion, which was organised in cooperation with the US Embassy in Armenia, brought together over 60 prosecutors and lawyers, as well as representatives of non-governmental organisations active in election-related issues. The workshop was conducted by representatives of the United States Department of Justice, including Richard Pilger, Director of the Election Crimes Branch of the Public Integrity Section. [gallery link="file"]