Armenia chooses new parliament amid worries

Armenia voted for a new parliament Saturday in elections dominated by concerns about economic issues in the poor and landlocked ex-Soviet republic and by opposition fears that officials will falsify the results. All 131 seats in the National Assembly are to be filled - 90 to be chosen according to proportions that parties get nationwide and 41 in single-mandate contests. Preliminary results were expected Monday. The last parliamentary election, in 2003, was assessed by Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe observers as falling short of international democratic standards. But a preliminary report from the OSCE's elections-monitoring office on this year's campaign did not point to significant problems. National media reports on the campaign have been "generally devoid of negative reporting," the report said. The OSCE frequently criticizes elections in post-Soviet countries for media reports that either ignore opposition forces or portray them unfairly.