“Unprecedented Good Elections Should Not Be Anticipated.” Varujan Hoktanyan
29.03.2017
11:00
The most common violation during the parliamentary election campaign was the participation of officials and employees of state institutions in the meetings of the ruling parties, especially the meetings with the Republican candidates, during working hours. Varujan Hoktanyan, Project Director of Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center, said this during the press conference on the topic of “Abuse of Administrative Resources in the Parliamentary Elections 2017: Monitoring Results” at Media Center on March 29.

The cases of violations and abuse of administrative use were disclosed during the implemented monitoring in almost all the regions of Armenia.

“The clinic staff took part in the campaign during the working hours in Berkanush community of Ararat region on March 20. Eyeglasses were distributed in Artashat. Ashot Arsenyan, a Republican rating candidate, just demanded during the meeting in Yeghegnadzor, Arpi village that 400 votes should be provided for him in that village,” Hoktanyan said. 

At the same time, he explains that among the forms of the abuse of administrative resource are harassment and threats, bribes and registering people in the lists. In this context, he referred to the sensational disclosure of listings of schools and kindergartens principals by "Informed citizens association" NGO and the government's response.

“The comment of authorities that lists the schools and kindergartens principals were not made during the working hours is not an excuse. When the Central Electoral Commission announces that there is no offense in their actions as they made the lists, not in the working hours, this does not inspire confidence. It turns out that the commission has asked them directly, and the principals swore that they had not done such a thing and the process was terminated,” the speaker said.  

Hoktanyan explained that the listing itself is an abuse of administrative resources when the superior does it at the workplace. “The principal is superior to the teachers. It does not matter it was done during the working hours or not,” he said.

The speaker noted that the Republican Party is not the only one to make violations and abuse the administrative resources.

“The Republican Party abuses the administrative resource, the other forces like “Tsarukyan Alliance” makes other violations as well. There are alarms about “Dashnaktsutyun” and “Armenian Renaissance” Party,” he said but expressed no confidence what impact it would have on the elections results.

“But it is exact that unprecedented good elections would not take place,” he said. 

To sum up, Varujan Hoktanyan presented some statistics:

“173 out of 176 calls addressed to the prosecutor's office by March 21 did not contain elements of offense calls or the facts mentioned therein were denied. In the case of the other three, the investigation continues. I believe violations revealed by us will also get comments like "The Union of Informed Citizens”. Police, prosecutors, and other law enforcement agencies actually serve to the government. This is the result of the fusion of state and government of which we cannot get rid of,” Hoktanyan said. 

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

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

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