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Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
May 22, 2012


WASHINGTON—Today the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) announced the following briefing:

Democratization in the Caucasus: Elections in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

2:00-4:00 p.m.

334 Cannon House Office Building

The latest round of elections in the Caucasus has begun.  Armenia held parliamentary elections on May 6; Georgia’s parliamentary election follows in October, and Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia will hold presidential elections in 2013. 

Controversy has surrounded elections in the region in the past and may do so again, given political polarization and problematic government-opposition relations in all three countries.  This briefing will look at how far free and fair elections have come in the Caucasus, and what the United States can do to promote progress in upcoming elections.

Panelists Scheduled to Appear:

Tom de Waal, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Dr. Cory Welt, Associate Director, Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University

Christopher Walker, Vice President for Strategy and Analysis, Freedom House

Stephen B. Nix, Regional Director, Eurasia, International Republican Institute (IRI)

Anthony Bowyer, Program Manager, Caucasus and Central Asia, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)


The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.

Media Contact: Shelly Han
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Chairman Chris Smith (L), Bill Browder, author of Red Notice, and David Kramer, Senior Director for Human Rights and Human Freedom at the McCain Institute. Courtesy of The McCain Institute for International Leadership. (Feb. 2015)