This is what Tigran Yegoryan, ‘Europe in Law Association’ NGO member, lawyer, said at the Media Center hosted press conference entitled ‘Local Authorities Elections in Goris and Other Cities and Regions of Armenia. Tigran Yegoryan had been monitirong of the June 8 elections,’ Arpine Manukyan, observer from Transparency International Anti Corruption Center, also shared her thoughts on the elections.
On June 8, 2014 the local elections were held in 59 communities of 9 regions, with 36 communities electing heads of community and 30 of them- Council of Elders.
According to the statement issued by the Central Electoral Commission of Armenia, the Commission has so far received 3 requests regarding election recount or invalidating election results within the specified period.
Tigran Yegoryan, ‘Europe in Law Association’ NGO member, described the Council of Elders elections conducted on June 8 as non competitive since the Republican Party of Armenia participated with 68 candidates, Heritage Party-1; Rule of Law-2; Armenian Revolutionary Federation-4. The Republican Party of Armenia nominated 34 candidates at the community head elections, with 5, 1 and 3 candidates proposed by Prosperous Armenia, Democracy and Labor Party and Armenian Revolutionary Federation respectively.
The culture of electoral fraud is rooted among the authorities to such an extent that no elections can be conducted without it. Subsequently, 20 violations were recorded in 12 polling stations some of which were not reported.
‘A serious violation, i.e. 3 envelopes in a voting booth, was recorded in Goris. Since the head of the commission destroyed those, the observer did not manage to find out which candidate was voted for on the ballots. So, it is an evidence of electoral fraud, particularly carousel voting,’ noted Tigran Yegoryan.
In pre-election period the public attention was mainly drawn to the mayoral elections in Goris. Ara Budaghyan and Tigran Karapetyan, two of the four primarily nominated candidates withdrew from the elections. The two other candidates- non-partisan Hrayr Yolyan and Vachagan Adunts continued the election struggle agianst Vachagan Adunts, Armenian Republican Party member and associate of Surik Khachatryan, Syunik region former head, who was ultimately elected mayor.
Arpine Manukyan, observer of Transparency International Anti Corruption Center, spoke on the Local elections in Shorzha, ‘The elections in 23/1 polling station of Shorzha were not competitive since both candidates were the Armenian Republican Party representatives, i.e. former and new village heads were running for village head.’
Discussing their further activities the speakers noted that applications pertaining to all the recorded fraud acts have already been filed with the commissions to reveal the violators and estimate the impact of acts of fraud on the election results.
Tigran Yegoryan was pleased to note that more observers are gradually becoming involved in ‘Citizen Observer’ Initiative, which will bring about serious progress in monitoring of the upcoming nationwide elections.