YEREVAN — Several prominent Diaspora Armenian artists said on Monday that they will monitor Armenia’s forthcoming parliamentary elections in a bid to help ensure that they meet democratic standards.

Canadian-Armenian actress Arsinee Khanjian, her husband and filmmaker Atom Egoyan, Rock musician Serj Tankian and Armenian-American director Eric Nazarian said their “Justice Within Armenia” campaign plans to deploy 20 observers for the polls scheduled for April.

Arsinee Khanjian urged Diaspora Armenians around the world to actively participate in Armenia’s political processes and make their voice heard in the country’s forthcoming elections.

“Along with number of like-minded Armenians we are undertaking an election observation mission aimed at bringing Diaspora compatriots’ participation, their engagement with political processes of Armenia during the 2017 Parliamentary Elections, to have their say in a cause of having a more democratic country based on rule of law” Khanjian stated during a Yerevan news conference.

“Diaspora Armenians are quite detached from political, social or economic events in Armenia,” Serj Tankian told via video conference. He complained that Armenia and its worldwide Diaspora are “more separated than we thought.” “We should definitely change that, and our joint effort is the first step,” he said.

The campaign was launched in late September with a joint online petition signed by more than two dozen well-known individuals, virtually all of them ethnic Armenians living in Europe and North America. They called on Armenia’s government to end widespread corruption, respect laws and hold democratic elections.

“We say NO to systematic corruption, monopolies, judicial inequality, police brutality, partisan politics, unequal rights, national depopulation, and elections tainted by fraud,” read the petition.

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