Former housing minister Eoghan Murphy has resurfaced in Armenia
Eoghan Murphy at a press conference in the Armenian capital of Yerevan.
May 19 2021 04:25 PM
FORMER housing minister Eoghan Murphy, who resigned his Dáil seat last month, has resurfaced in Armenia where he is heading up an election observation mission.
The former Fine Gael TD is the head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights’ election observation mission in Armenia.
He appeared at a press conference in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on Wednesday to open the observation mission ahead of snap parliamentary elections in the country which are due on June 20.
The election was triggered last month following the resignation of prime minister Nikol Pashinyan in the wake of political tensions following last year’s defeat in a war with Azerbaijan.
A ceasefire agreement saw Armenia cede large swathes of territory in the Nagorno-Karabakh region to Azerbaijan which led to widespread protests and calls for Mr Pashinyan’s departure. The issue of national security and relations with Russia is likely to be central to the election.
Mr Murphy, who was a Fine Gael TD for just over a decade, was selected following an open competition and is working on a contract that will end once the election is over and the observation mission produces a report, a spokesperson for the OSCE said.
Mr Murphy is leading a team of 11 international experts from nine OSCE member countries who will be based in Yerevan over the coming weeks.
They will scrutinise whether the elections are held in line with democratic norms by observing the legal framework for elections and its implementation, campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant government bodies, including voter registration, and the resolution of election disputes. ADVERTISEMENT
“Media monitoring will also form an integral part of the election observation process,” Mr Murphy said at a press conference held in Yerevan today.
Mr Murphy’s team will produce a report approximately two months after the election process has ended. Armenia had been on the Irish Government’s mandatory hotel quarantine list but was removed last Wednesday.
The Department of Foreign Affairs website notes: “Within Armenia, the ceasefire has evoked a strong civil reaction and political division, which may continue for some time to come.
“We advise citizens to consider postponing any intended travel to Armenia at this time, and would also advise anyone already in the region to be extremely vigilant and to remain indoors.”
The former Dublin Bay South TD’s resignation has triggered a by-election in the constituency that is due to take place this summer.