A Number of Violations were Observed during LSG Elections. Observers
19.04.2016
12:00
Media Center, April 19, 2016. Different types of violations were observed during LSG elections held in 36 communities in 8 regions of Armenia on April 17. The violations included distributing bribes, crowds at the polling stations and use of administrative resources. Though there was no “drawing of numbers” as the voting process was very efficiently controlled, the use of administrative and financial resources had a significant influence on the results of elections. Observers who worked during LSG elections said about this during the discussion at Media Center.

“Generally violations of the previous elections were repeated during these elections too. The observers tried to get acquainted with the signed lists but obstacles were made.  There were calls about bribes and crowds at the polling stations,” Armen Grigoryan, Coordinator of Election Projects of Transparency International Anticorruption Center, said and added that the problems of the previous elections are still actual which means that elections are not organized properly yet. “Once again it was not possible to organize transparent and legal elections in Armenia,” he said. 

Armen Grigoryan, Daniel Ionisyan, Head of “Union of Informed Citizens” NGO and Lena Nazaryan, Deputy Chairman of Civil Contract Party participated in the discussion on “Appraisal on Local Elections in Eight Regions in Armenia” at Media Center on April 19. Last Sunday 114 observers followed the election process. The acting mayors won the election in 29 communities out of 33. Representatives of the Republican Party are 26 out of the total winners. 

Daniel Ionisyan who carried out an observation mission in Hrazdan said that one of the most frequent violations is the presence of other people (without any license) in the polling station and the inaccuracies in the lists. “There were many officials whose luxurious cars cost as much as a tank battalion.  Besides, the members of the Electoral Commissions worked inadequately as they did not know even the legislative changes made years ago. There were cases when they made obstacles for the observers to look through the signed lists though the law does not forbid,” Danielyan said and added that the main violations were out of the polling stations.   

He said that there were cases when the journalists were forbidden to enter the polling station after 20:00 . “When the police was explained that the law allows, such reply was made that no matter what is written in the law “I am ordered not to allow”. So, the journalists had to wait for half an hour to enter,” Daniel Ionisyan said and added that it is violation of electoral right and there are provisions about it in the Criminal Code.  

“I cannot say that there was number drawing but there were violations about which the police should prepare materials and send to SIS. People openly spoke about the distribution of bribes. They said who distributed and how much was given,” Ionisyan said and added that the violations were evident in Hrazdan. 

In local elections of Hrazdan Sasun Mikayelyan, member of the “Civil Contract” Party lost the acting mayor Arman Danielyan by 2000 votes. Lena Nazaryan said that the “Civil Contract” Party accepted the results of elections and will not dispute them as “votes given to Mikayelyan were not lost, they were kept”. “We completely achieved our objective, the promise given to the Hrazdan citizens and kept their votes,” Nazaryan said.  

There were no such violations in the polling stations that “votes of our candidate would be lost”. “The violations were made out of the polling stations”, he said and added that Aram Danielyan, Candidate of the Republican Party, was not elected fairly as brbes were distributed which ahd an influence on the results of the elections. “Anyway we did not dispute the results of the elections as we were able to provide the right of secret voting of the voters in the polling stations,” she explained.

Arshaluys Mghdesyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to  arshaluismghdesyan@pjc.am.

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