Local Elections: Low Voter Turnout Is also Conditioned by Emigration
20.10.2014
13:00
On October 19 the voter turnout at local elections in 14 communities in eight regions of Armenia was low. At the Media Center hosted press conference Yeghiazar Davtyan, Coordinator at Martuni’s Women Community Council, said that in Gegharkunik Region, particularly, the low voter turnout was conditioned by emigration though there is indifference as well. For instance, one of the communities had only one candidate nominated. “People already know that very candidate is sure to win without their active participation.”

The press conference was also attended by representatives of the other two non-governmental organizations comprising the Civil Observer Initiative Heriknaz Tigranyan, lawyer at Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center; and Armen Petrosyan, Executive Director at Khoran Ard Intellectual Center.

Please follow the link to watch the full video of the Press Conference.

The Civil Observer Initiative has monitored elections for the third time. This monitoring mission covered local elections at 14 polling stations in 10 communities of five regions. Heriknaz Tigranyan said that only 19 violations were observed which is a better index as compared with the March and June local elections. Based on the given 19 violations 15 applications will be filed to the local election commissions.

The alerts do not differ much from the ones received at the previous elections. Queues and transportation of voters and other electoral violations seem to have become a tradition in Armenia. These cases cannot be regarded as violations. However, “they may be considered an attempt to guide voters” believes Heriknaz Tigranyan. The speakers stated that the recent monitoring shows committee members and heads precisely knew their functions and took actions to avoid violations, namely prevent queuing at polling stations.

Armen Petrosyan said that the number of invalid ballots was rather high, an estimated two percent, with ten percent of voters being guided and assisted which is a high number, though.

The representatives of Civil Observer Initiative emphasized a noteworthy fact that almost all of the community heads are re-elected. Armen Petrosyan is concerned over the fact that, for example, in Shirak Region none of the three candidates had a program.

However, the speakers agreed that there were not observed serious violations that could affect the election results.

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