“Assessment of Observers on Elections of Yerevan Council of Elders”
15.05.2017
13:00
A press conference entitled “Assessment of Observers on Elections of Yerevan Council of Elders” was held at Media Center on May 15.

Daniel Ioannisyan, “Independent Observer” Initiative, Arthur Sakunts, “Independent Observer” Initiative,Tigran Yegoryan, Representative of “Citizen Observer” Initiative, “Europe in Law Association” NGO, were the speakers of the press conference.      

During the press conference, the observers summed up the elections of Yerevan Council of Elders held on May 14.

According to the preliminary data released by the Central Election Committee, 40, 99 percent of the registered voters took part in the voting. The Republican Party received 71.25 percent of the votes, “Yelq” Alliance received 21 percent of votes, and “Yerkir Tsirani” Party received 7.75 percent.

Arthur Sakunts considers that the Yerevan Council of Elders elections were not held in an environment of free expression of voters.

“We deal with just voting that are mechanical numbers. The Government sent a message to the society not to have hopes to achieve any changes via elections.”

Referring to the activities of law enforcement bodies, Sakunts said: “The law enforcement officers were very severe to those who disclosed violations while the violation makers were often taken under their protection publicly.” 

He says that at least in 35 percent of polling stations it was observed that the committee chairman or proxy or fake observer who acted as a proxy were engaged in bringing absent voters to the polling stations.

Sakunts also condemned the registered violations: “Shameful acts were carried out against Zaruhi Postanjyan and her daughter. And we again witnessed the inaction of law enforcement agencies.” 

He assesses that these elections were a step back in terms of democracy compared to the Parliamentary elections.

Tigran Yegoryan said that as a result of the electoral processes  a front was formed. On the one side of the front, there are all those who want to fight for democratic values, freedom, independence, on the other side, there are those who want to possess the power of the people.  

“And they have already possessed and they just preserve that power using the administrative tools.”

As a reply to the question if he considered the 71, 25% to be the victory of the Republican Party, Mr. Yegoryan said: “All what we present are the facts that prove that these are not their votes. If A and B took bribes and voted for the Republicans, it does not mean that they voted for the Republican Party. Here it is the free formation and expression of will which is ensured also by the secrecy of the voting and the state failed to protect these important constitutional principles. While it is a positive obligation of the state.”

Daniel Ioannisyan said while counting the votes there were serious violations. 23 ballots of Yelq were attempted to put on the ballots of the Republican Party. There was a painting of numbers in another polling station; they announced the numbers without making calculations.

He highlighted that making a note in front of the Republican Party does not mean that the party received that vote.

To watch the video, follow the link. 

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