The speakers of the press conference were Lusine Hakobyan, Armen Grigoryan and Tigran Yegoryan, Representatives of “Citizen Observer” Initiative.
Lusine Hakobyan says that for the parliamentary elections on April 2 2017, the observers were trained in two stages theoretical knowledge on the Electoral Code and practical observation skills.
“We have an important tool that was tested before the constitutional referendum. It is the “Public Oversight” tool, via which we call for the citizens in the Republic of Armenia and out of it to pre-register. Through it we can obtain a list of citizens participating in the voting. As a result of the recent amendments of the Electoral Code, the voting lists will be published after the voting and comparing them with the registrations in a database, we will be able to find out the citizens who are registered as non-voting but voting took place instead of them,” Hakobyan said.
She said that this will be a ground for the human rights defenders to go to the Administrative Court to challenge the election results.
“Voting for another person is a criminal offense, this will allow to submit reports to the appropriate law enforcement officials and that people will bear corresponding criminal liability due to our efforts. For example, after the constitutional referendum many proceedings were instituted and about 60 peoplewere subjected to criminal liability for various electoral violations during the elections. The punishment was in the form of a fine but we can make a step forward,” Hakobyan said.
Armen Grigoryan said that more than 2300 observers were registered to cover the 1,600 polling stations representing more than 75% of the polling stations and comprises more than 95 percent of the population votes oversight. 310 of the observers will be from the Diaspora.
“The Diaspora is much interested. People are willing to have their participation in the political procedures in a certain way. That is, 10 percent of the observers will be from the Diaspora which is fine for the beginning,” Grigoryan said.
He expressed concern about the 28 thousand observers as 14 observers are allocated for each polling station.
“This causes a problem because it can create a real limitation for the monitoring of real observers,” Grigoryan said.
Tigran Yegoryan referred to several decisions made by the CEC that create problems in legal terms.
“It is dangerous because it causes uncertainty in terms of the perception and application of law. The CEC's decision that defines the opportunity for those who have found out that it was signed instead of them, and get the right to sign in a separate column for notes is extremely dangerous. It difficult to catch the cases of voting instead of other persons. It will make hard to identify those cases when it was voted instead of other people,” Yegoryan said.
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Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”
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