The United States has offered to organize and finance a first-ever exit poll in Armenia as part of an effort to promote a free-and-fair presidential election on February 19. The initiative has been endorsed by the election favorite, Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian, while causing serious misgivings among his main challengers.
The main source of opposition candidates' concern is the apparent willingness of US officials to rely on an Armenian polling organization with reputed close ties to the Armenian government. Its pre-election opinion polls have long been criticized as misleading by Armenian opposition and civic groups.
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Emil Danielyan is a Yerevan-based journalist and political analyst.