YEREVAN, January 23. / ARKA /. The upcoming February 18 presidential election in Armenia will be watched by some 170 observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), according to Vladimir Garkun, the deputy chairman of the CIS Executive Committee, who said to a news conference in Yerevan today that he and other members of the long-term CIS observation mission met today with CEC Chairman Tigran Mukuchyan.
He said the long-term observation mission includes 30 people who will monitor the election campaign across the country and will be meeting with presidential candidates.
He said the short-term mission that will arrive to watch the polls will involve observers from all CIS countries – parliament members, diplomats and representatives of central election commissions.
"We will be periodically informing about our work. The short-term observers will arrive in Armenia 4-5 before the Election Day. We will make a final analysis of the observations on the election day and come out the next day with a statement, which will not be subject to any adjustments, " he added.
The February 18 election will be contested by eight candidates - the incumbent president Serzh Sargsyan, former prime minister Hrant Bagratian, ex-foreign minister Raffi Hovannisian, a Soviet time dissident Paruyr Hayrikyan, former foreign minister of Karabakh Arman Melikyan, a political analyst Andrias Ghukasyan, a businessman Vartan Sedrakian and Aram Harutyunyan, leader of a small National Unity party. -0-