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2018 Nov

Press release: November 22, 2018

“Akanates” (Eyewitness) observation mission carries out long-term and short-term observation of early parliamentary elections in Armenia scheduled for December 9, 2018 by deploying long-term and short-term observers across the country. The findings of long-term observation for the period of 5-20 November show that the pre-election period was generally calm, though some incidents were noted.

The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Armenia began organizational activities on November 2, 2018, and preparatory activities had been carried out in accordance with the timeline stipulated by law.

No major irregularities were observed in connection with the campaign environment. At the same time, media reported about innovations in vote buying. According to media, there are several signaling alerts about the potential misuse of administrative resources which began even before the official start of campaign. The instances are currently being checked by long-term observers of the mission.

Several instances of expressions of hate speech, targeting citizens and/or citizen groups based on their religion and gender, and characteristics which politically divide people, which in turn, voluntarily or involuntarily, may lead to violence, have been observed before the official launch of the campaign.

Although voters’ lists are generally maintained in accordance with the law, they continue to contain problematic data in terms of large number of voters registered at a single address, and voters without addresses which, casts doubt on their accuracy.  

Taking into consideration the observed situation, the “Akanates” observation mission calls upon

  • political parties/ alliances, as well as their individual candidates to follow campaign rules and refrain from vote-buying practices
  • law enforcement bodies to conduct an exhaustive and thorough study of those cases
  • heads of state bodies taking into consideration the unclear perceptions of administrative resources among the public and public servants, to come up with strict recommendations to exclude misuse of administrative resources
  • political parties/ political party alliances contesting in the parliamentary elections to refrain from using offensive and discrediting expressions against each other during campaign, as well as to refrain from the temptation of attracting voters through discriminatory and hate speech
  • police to quickly solve the problem of providing addresses to the voters who have no addresses or if they have addresses to enter them in the final voter lists.

The complete report is available at https://transparency.am/hy/news/view/2551

The initiative will publish its preliminary report on the pre-election period on December 7.