“There were no technical violations in the polling stations during Hrazdan Mayor Elections. There were no technical violations in the polling stations during Hrazdan Mayor Elections. We could conduct an effective control in all the polling stations together with the observers. But if Aram Danielyan managed to win thanks to bribes, which is also a criminal case, these elections cannot be considered fair,” Ruben Rubinyan, Board member of “Civil Contract” Party, said.
Armen Grigoryan, Coordinator of Election Projects of Transparency International Anticorruption Center, Ruben Rubinyan, Board Member of “Civil Contract” Party, Gevorg Ghahramanyan, Coordinator of Rapid Response Group of the “Union of Informed Citizens”NGO, Taguhi Markosyan, Member of Hrazdan Civil Youth Center, observer, participated in the discussion on “Elections of Hrazdan Mayor. Opinions and Remarks” organized by Media Center together with Civil Youth Center of Hrazdan on April 21.
Representatives of Hrazdan Municipality and acting Mayor Arman Danielyan were also invted to the discussion but they did not come.
There were different kinds of violations, from distribution of bribes and accumulations in the polling stations to usage of administrative resources, during the LSG elections held in 36 communities of eight regions on April 17. Though there was not “drawing of numbers” as the voting process was very efficiently controlled, the usage of administrative and financial resources had a significant influence on the election resuts according to the representatives of opposition and observers.
“Bribes are also violations and naturally influenced the results,” Armen Grigoryan said and added that the previous violations repeated this time as well. “There were problems mostly concerning the signed lists. The observers were often hindered to look through the lists by the members of electoral commission. There were calls about distributing bribes, also accumulations occurred at the polling stations,” Grigoryan said.
The general assessment of the speaker was the following: “Again it was not possible to hold proper, transparent and legal elections in Armenia.”
Gevorg Ghahramanyan said that the observers were often hindered by members of commissions as they were unaware of their powers and law and were guided by “the superior order”. “The commission members who had licenses were highly unaware. They did not know that the journalist can freely enter the polling station. They neglected the law and heard what their superior would say,” Ghahramanyan said.
Observer, members of Civil Youth center of Hrazdan Taguhi Markosyan said that there were no violations at the polling station. “I did not meet cases of double voting or voting instead of someone else. But here was awareness problem,” he concluded.
Arshaluys Mghdesyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”
To contact the author please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.