On April 3, during the main news broadcast on 9 pm, the Public TV Company of Armenia distorted the words of Head of OSCE/ODIHR observation mission Jan Peterson, who was presenting the mission’s assessment of RA parliamentary elections.
Addressing only the positive sides of the OSCE/ODIHR statement and omitting the sections containing criticism, the TV channel made quotes from Head of OSCE/ODIHR observation mission Jan Peterson’s words. In particular, according to the translation by the Public TV Company of Armenia, Peterson mentioned during the press conference in Armenia Marriott Hotel, “All the OSCE/ODIHR observations and comments have been considered this time. The situation has improved in terms of the secrecy of votes. This should be underlined because the previously existent practice of vote-buying has been solved”.
Meanwhile, in reality, Jan Peterson noted, “The preliminary report … contains both positive and negative elements, and I think that my colleagues have described our main concerns very well. It is really not for me to elaborate too much on this. I would just like to highlight a few points.
One of them is the issue of the secrecy of votes and the vote buying issue. We see that in this election the situation has been improved regarding the secrecy of votes. And I underline this because this is the very first step towards addressing the long standing practice of vote-buying. This is vote-buying, the pressure on voters: those issues are certainly very high on our agenda. And you will see that in our preliminary findings, the words “lack of confidence” pops up quite frequently which means that this is something that needs to be addressed.”
Moreover, during the H1 TV program, one can even hear the English text of Peterson’s statement, which clearly does not correspond to the translation. Naturally, it is not a coincidence but an intended propagandistic move which is aimed at concealing the negative assessment of the OSCE/ODIHR from wide circles of the public. It is worth noting that the Public TV Company of Armenia should be unbiased and simply provide information to Armenian citizens, due to whose taxes it exists.