Election observation group says legislative imperfections ‘impediment to voters’ rights’

14:30 • 14.04.17



The Citizen-Observer group, which monitored the April 2 parliamentary election in Armenia, on Monday summed up its findings, citing legislative impediments which it claimed complicated the process of disputing illegitimacies.


Lusine Hakobyan, a group activist representing the NGO Union of Informed Citizens, said they received 325 complaints filed from 1,000 reports by 3,112 observers. “There were two kinds of complaints, 167 addressing violations of the electoral right, with a demand of impact assessment, and 158 being based upon a monitoring of observers’ subjective rights,” she told reporters.


Hakobyan said that the legislative gap not allowing voters to file complaints by post creates lots of difficulties for many, causing them to submit the necessary documents in person.

She added that their lawyers’ team appeals also against the decisions by district electoral committees.

“On April 9, the lawyers filed 50 complaints with the Central Electoral Commission, but they too, tried to hamper the process and accepted [the documents] only the next day, arguing that [April 2] wasn’t a business day (although the CEC was conducting a session disputing the election outcomes at that moment),” Hakobyan added.


Levon Barseghyan, the head of the Gyumri based journalists’ group Asparez, said the group isn’t trying at all to “save the results of the voting”. “What we want to say was that the elections were tainted by numerous violations and irregularities, and episodes with criminal elements. If the authorities did really represent the people, the available facts would have inevitably made clear that there was no election as such. Instead there were extremely serious pressures upon people’s freedom to express their will,” he said.

Asked to comment on the OSCE/ODIHR evaluation revealing nor serious impact, Barseghyan said he is under the impression that “Europeans compare Armenia with Somalia”.

Elaborating further on the monitoring results, Hakobyan stressed the need of revising their monitoring. “The methodology does not reflect the real picture,” she added.

 

Nelly Lazaryan





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