No Major Violations Observed at the Local Elections in the Consolidated Communities
The February 14 local elections in the consolidated communities in Tavush, Syunik and Lori regions are credible despite some minor violations. The Central Electoral Committee did not receive complaints.

“The observers we had delegated to Tumanyan did not report major violations but there were certain problems. The head of the local commission, for example, was the deputy mayor of the community while the candidate was the current mayor of Tumanyan. There is a risk of conflict of interests,” said Haykak Arshamyan, Program Coordinator at Yerevan Press Club, Coordinator of the Observers’ Group.

On February 14, 63 candidates were running for the local councils in Tumanyan community, Lori, Tatev community, Syunik, and Dilijan community, Tavush. Among the 63 candidates there were only three females, said Nune Hovhannisyan from the Central Electoral Committee.

Armenia allocated to the Central Electoral Committee 24,785.9 thousand drams for the local elections, with the Police allocating 1,954.0 thousand drams.

The recent elections has seen a positive shift, Abraham Artashesyan from the Association of Community Finance Officers believes.

“Unlike our previous experience that there were cases a council was not established and there were not candidates, at these elections there was public participation, as well as competition,” said Artashesyan.

The consolidation has led to a number of positive changes and the latest elections are the first result of this improvement, said Susanna Shahnazaryan, Head of Goris Press Club, who joined the discussion via video call. Shahnazaryan believes “Syunik at last had fair elections” and the candidates were competing up to the last day.

“These elections reflect the actual sentiments in the country,” said Shahnazaryan.

Arshaluys Mghdesyan

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