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Armenia Election Monitor Accuses Police Of 'Blackmail'

Armenian-American election monitor Narine Esmaeli
Armenian-American election monitor Narine Esmaeli
YEREVAN -- An Armenian-American election monitor who raised claims of serious election fraud during Armenia's February 18 presidential election says she is being "blackmailed" by the authorities.

Narine Esmaeli, who works for the Armenian branch of the NGO Transparency International, said on April 2 that the investigator looking into her allegations of ballot-box stuffing called her and told her he had intimate photographs of her that he claimed he wanted to return to her.

U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern met with Esmaeli on March 21 and the embassy issued a statement saying that it was following the case carefully.

Esmaeli's allegations led to the Constitutional Court declaring election results in the town of Artashat invalid.

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