What Violations Are Observed during the Referendum Campaign?
05.11.2015
12:00
The representatives of civil society organizations shared thoughts on the violations observed during the campaign for the upcoming referendum on constitutional changes.

The speakers included: Sona Ayvazyan, Deputy Director at the Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center; Vardine Grigoryan, Democracy Monitoring and Reporting Coordinator of HCA Vanadzor; and publicist Zara Hovhannisyan.

Sona Ayvazyan, Deputy Director of Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center, believes it is not accidental that Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan now heads the Ayo campaign team, with different officials being appointed as his deputies.

“Those people directly influence local authorities and such a choice is nothing but a risk of misuse of administrative resources,” said Ayvazyan.

OSCE/ODIHR has recorded cases of abusing public resources and came up with a set of recommendations to the Armenian authorities, Ayvazyan said. Since the obligations set forth by OSCE/ODIHR, as it might be expected, are not fulfilled, the authorities are likely to continue misusing the administrative resources.

The authorities, Ayvazyan believes, are rushing to hold the referendum and choosing the referendum day (December 6) without finding a solution to the problem of voting with ID cards shows how they are hasting. The authorities are trying to shift public attention away from inaccuracies in voter lists, Ayvazyan added.

The authorities, Zaruhi Hovhannisyan believes, have intentionally opted for such strategies to reveal problems at the last minute only to shock the opposition.

Vardine Grigoryan said the referendum voter lists include 2. 552. 243 citizens. “Yet, the National Statistical Service documents the population of Armenia makes 3 010.6. Thus, 85 percent of the population turns out to be adult voters which is a big deviation because the age-based group lists by the National Statistical Service read that 25-30 percent of the population is under 18,” said Grigoryan.

“I am traveling in the regions and I can state there is complete indifference. Many of citizens have no idea about the current Constitution to voice about the violations of their rights or misuse of administrative resources,” said Zara Hovhannisyan.

The campaign of Ayo is underway in the regions - with the usage of administrative leverages as well - while the campaign of No is conducted by few small groups.

Arevik Sahakyan, Discussion Coordinator

 

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