On May 7 the international observers, involving the OSCE/ODIHR, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament released the statement of preliminary findings and conclusions on RA National Assembly elections. The international observers characterized the 6 May 2012 parliamentary elections in Armenia as “a competitive, vibrant and largely peaceful campaign”. At the same time, the international observers were concerned with “an unequal playing field due to violations of campaign provisions and cases of pressure on voters, as well as deficiencies in the complaints and appeals process”.
One of the sections of the statement deals with the media activities. It particularly states: “Despite limited content diversity, during the official campaign period, which started on 8 April, broadcasters guaranteed access to all major political parties, thus enabling voters to be informed of their political positions. This appears to be an improvement over the period prior to the official campaign.” Based on the results of monitoring, conducted by OSCE/ODHIR Election Observation Mission and covering 6 national media (First Channel of the Public Television of Armenia, Second Armenian TV Channel, “Armenia”, “Shant”, “Yerkir Media”, “Kentron”), two radio stations (Public Radio of Armenia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) and one official newspaper (“Hayastani Hanrapetutiun”), the international observers emphasize: “In several cases TV channels, instead of relying on their own material, broadcast in their news the same campaign material which was also used in paid political advertisement. Such practices damage the credibility of media reporting and undermine the autonomy of the media from the political sphere, and may have been misleading for viewers.”
See the full statement of international observers on May 6, 2012 RA National Assembly elections at http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/90332 (in English) and http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/90333 (in Armenian).