Summary of “4+4+4” Format Discussions about Electoral Code
“Some meetings in “4+4+4” format showed that it failed as the Government is not willing to compromise even after the formation of compromising proposals by the opposition. However, if the government finds ways to continue the discussions, we do not close the door, we are ready to proceed,” Aram Manukyan, Secretary of the Armenian National Congress Faction, said during the discussion at Media Center.

He said that in spite of the non-constructive approach of the government, they will proceed with their efforts on the reforms of Electoral Code Draft and they consider it to be the most important way to democritise Armenia and provide internal stability.

“We are going to present our version to ODHIR, Venice Commission, we intend to hod events with the civil society in a few days, we will do our best to continue the struggle,” Manukyan informed and added that the government sent the Electoral Code Draft to Venice Commission secretly for the second time.

As a reply to the question whether there would be demonstrations, the speaker said, “Now demonstration will not be held. Because of the tensions on the board we do not even think about it.”

Hovhannes Sahakyan, Chair of NA Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs, thinks that “4+4+4” format discussions were efficient and their results are illustrated in the changes.

«For example, instead of inking the fingers electronic  fingerprints is included. Or we trust you, go and clear up the lists, the names of those who are not in Armenia for more than 6 years will be included in the lists by special signal. There are 200 NGOs that joined the format and12 parties who according to Law should have minimal number of members. You have huge resources, go and use.”

Sona Ayvazyan, Deputy Director of Transperancy International Anticorruption Center, which expressed the civil society perspective in  “4+4+4” format, replied to the question of Media Center whether the compromises submitted by the government were not sufficient, whether it was not possible to formulate the further discussions based on them: “In our opinion the government’s proposals were not enough. Though two compromises were made – voting by fingerprints and provision of electors’ lists in non-official documents, but we cannot consider it sufficient. As government says the aim of electronic systems is to prevent different electoral violations but it solves only one problem. The specialists insist that the electronic system makes the process more non-transparent and invisible and therefore it cannot be trustworthy. So only the idea of fingerprints cannot be considered acceptable. Provision of lists is not compromise either. The observers can have them now too. We do not consider these sufficient compromises, the public trust has not increased, and the same suspicions remain.”

Hovhannes Sahakyan said, “You do not trust the electronic system. But I want to remind you that when the issue of ID cards was circulated, Aram Manukyan showed the corresponding facility at NA tribune and asked why you did not input these facilities to control. Now a big system is introduced. If you still mind, the state cannot stop trusting the electronic systems without serious grounds.”  

Aram Manukyan replied,”If everyone had ID and voted in that way, it would be good. As we have written, if you are ready to clear up the lists, publish them, we are ready to sign for investing the electoral system. It is very constructive. But the government does not agree.”  

At the end of the discussion, Aram Manukyan said that the Government ought to have another approach  in this war situation,”The Government  still has a chance, time to increase trust. There is no other way to have normal situation in the society. If not, they will be blamed later.”

Hovhannes Sahakyan informed that the Electoral Code Draft with amendments will be discussed on Friday at the discussion of NA Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs.

Arevik Sahakyan, Program coordinator at “Media Center”

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