The Assessment of Civil Society about the Presigned Agreement of the Electoral Code
Representatives of civil society qualify the agreement signed on September 10 between the opposition and the government on the Electoral Code as a positive step.

Sona Ayvazyan, Executive Director of Transparency International Corruption Center, who participated in press conference on September 13 at Media Center, said that for years, civil society organizations, observer organizations and political parties had repeatedly voiced that electoral lists were falsified at the expense of the missing persons and were used to achieve results in the interests of the government.

“This issue has been raised in different platforms and has not been solved for years. This agreement involves certain mechanisms to resolve these issues put forward,” Ayvazyan said.  

The document included the most important demands of the opposition and the civil society - in the official publication of the signed lists of people who participated in the elections, as well as the videos of the whole process of voting and vote count in the polling stations by the cameras provided with internet connection and live broadcast of the procedure.
“The mechanisms that are offered should be implemented yet, so as to determine whether they operate and how they can prevent, but in theory they give us hope that in case of proper application and in case of proper public oversight, they really may prevent the mechanism of presenting inflated figures and falsification of results,"Ayvazyan said.

He adds that there is such an environment that the authorities were forced to make some concessions. "At least to gain public confidence and demonstrate that they are ready to take certain steps to restore public confidence in the public."

"Media Center" press conference was also attended by Artak Zeynalyan, member of "Rule of Law" NGO, Tigran Yegoryan, Representative of “Europe in Law Association" NGO and Boris Navasardyan, Chairman of Yerevan Press Club.

“Given the fact that the Electoral Code has numerous gaps and problems, it is clear that this agreement should be considered a positive step, and such agreements should be welcomed. Solving many significant problems, this agreement creates real opportunities to combat various forms of fraud,” Tigran Yegoryan said.  

He clarified that one of the essential items are the publication of the signed lists and publication in methods and mechanisms suggested by the civil society.

"This will substantially prevent voting instead of other persons, stuffing and irregularities impacting the voting results," Yegoryan added.

Artak Zeynalyan said that the majority of the public believes that the number of voters increases at the expense of the absent citizens.

"A few hundred thousand votes is added and it is distributed at the discretion of the authorities. And the publication of voters' lists and the mechanisms that are set here, the fact that the stations are equipped with video cameras, live broadcasting are certainly a step forward. Progress is not enough, but necessary to make changes happen. The confidence towards the electoral institutions is negative, very low, and this can be moved, changed gradually," Zeynalyan said.

Boris Navasardyan also underlined that the whole process of discussions and negotiations became difficult because of the fact that over the years quite reasonable and deep distrust has accumulated.

"Of course, if it were not, perhaps, the work of these months would be much more effective and give better results, but what we have today cannot be appreciated. The question is that we also know that not only promised but also signed or adopted provisions are not fulfilled. So, here are some concerns," Navasardyan said. 

Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

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