Noncompetitive Elections with Many Violations
09.06.2015
13:00
The June 7 local elections in 32 communities throughout Armenia were generally noncompetitive. The observers, however, reported a series of violations.

The Media Center held a discussion on the results of the June 7 local elections. The speakers included: Armen Grigoryan, Project Coordinator at the Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center; Vardine Grigoryan, Monitoring and Reporting Coordinator at Helsinki Citizens' Assembly – Vanadzor; and Razmik Sargsyan from Armavir Civil Youth Center.

The voters headed to polling stations in 32 communities in Kotayk, Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Gegharkunik, Lori, Shirak, Syunik and Tavush regions where nine non-governmental organizations conducted monitoring.

The Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center had its observers in Abovyan and Alaverdi towns.

Armen Grigoryan points out the lack of partisan competition in communities as main issue which leads to a lower turnout at local elections. The communities with a higher number of candidates and a higher level of competition see a higher turnout.

“Most of violations were recorded in Abovyan. 21 percent of violations are transporting voters to the polling stations and overcrowding outside the stations, with 14 percent of guidance and illegal support. Some violations concern the seals in passports,” Grigoryan said.

Razmik Sargsyan said their team had observers in Abovyan where 28/7, 28/8 and 28/9 polling places out of 26 in the town recorded violations.

“28/8 station opened at 08:15 and voters had to wait outside. It is a violation. The head of 28/9 station talked on the phone and said, “I guess there won’t be many voters and stuffing should be done. But observers and journalists have come to the station so we cannot do anything.”

Vardine Grigoryan said the Citizen Observer Coalition monitored the elections in Alaverdi.

“Major violations happened outside the polling stations, some 50 meters away. Voters were often taken to the stations. At the places the committees were mostly peaceful and ready to help. In general, the elections were passive, with a low turnout,” Vardine Grigoryan said.

Grigoryan added that the voting runs nowadays very smoothly because all the work is done outside polling stations.

Lilit Arakelyan, Editor-Coordinator

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