Documents

Policy Alert

Policy Alert #5 - Armenia’s Stable Majority Constitutional Provisions Under Review

EPDE
Photo: vestnikkavkaza.net

The 2015 Constitution promised that Armenia would move toward a fully proportional parliamentary model. However, a number of other provisions serve to distort the translation of votes to seats in practice. They include provisions for various bonus seats and the exclusion of political parties from campaigning if no government can be formed and a “second round” vote is held. 

 

EPDE Publication

Dossier: Impact of COVID-19 on election processes in the EaP and Russia

EPDE

COVID-19 spread rapidly across the world in early 2020, with most governments instituting far-reaching pandemic mitigation measures, including nationwide lockdowns. This dossier compares the lockdown regimes and extraordinary measures taken in response to COVID-19 and how these have impacted election processes in the Eastern Partnership countries and the Russian Federation.

 

Policy Alert

Armenia explores alternative to referendum on Constitutional Court

EPDE
Photo: massispost.com

Armenia was supposed to hold a referendum on April 5, 2020, on whether to replace 7 of its 9 Constitutional Court judges. The referendum was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now seen as too great a risk to public health to go ahead. Instead of terminating the 7 judges immediately, the government is now considering waiving their exemption to the current 12-year term limit and has applied to the Venice Commission for an official Opinion on the modified approach.

 

Policy Alert

Armenia to expand proportional representation to municipal elections with tri-partisan bill

EPDE
Photo: emerging-europe.com

MPs from all three parliamentary factions have sponsored a bill that seeks to change how municipal councils and mayors are elected. Specifically, mayors in the largest cities and towns will no longer be directly elected but chosen by city councils, who will also be given the power to remove them mid-term. The closed party list proportional representation system used in the three largest cities in Armenia would be expanded to all communities with more than 4000 registered voters.

 

Policy Alert

Changes to Armenia’s Political Party Regulation: toward more transparent party financing

EPDE
Photo: gmfus.com

Prior to the COVID-19 state of emergency disrupting ongoing reform processes and the scheduled constitutional referendum, a new law on political parties was supposed to be amended and passed by June 2020. Most of the new provisions were welcomed by international experts. The draft law includes provisions that would make state funding for parties contingent on their adherence to stricter transparency rules on party finances and a 40% gender quota.

 

Policy Alert

Consolidating Democratic Transition in Armenia

Helsinki Citizens' Assembly - Vanadzor

In March 2019, the Parliamentary factions started a dialogue on the priorities of the electoral reforms and established a timeline that included changes to various laws. HCAV have summarized what the expected amendments will be in this new policy alert. They furthermore call on the EU to strongly denounce the attacks against genuine civil society, including HCAV, in light of the growing discrediting campaigns against reputable organizations and donors.

 

EPDE Publication

Comparative study on conditions for citizen election observation in the EU–EaP and Russia

EPDE

This comparative analysis by Tatyana Hilscher-Bogussevich of conditions for citizen election observers in the Eastern Neighborhood has found that Russia ranks the worst since there are no legal provisions allowing for civil society to be directly accredited as election observers. There is a similarly restrictive environment in Azerbaijan and Belarus. Other countries of the region rank better and generally facilitate citizen observation, however issues still remain. This study is a first in a series based on the newly launched Catalogue of Recommendations on Electoral Reform.

 

Catalogue of recommendations on electoral reform

Analysis on conditions for citizen observation

EPDE

Analysis including recent reports and recommendations by citizen observer organizations, open source information, and the newly developed Catalogue of Recommendations. Overall findings: Conditions for election observation, both in legislation and in practice, and attitudes towards it vary considerably from country to country. An observed rise in politically-motivated domestic observation can be noted, seriously damaging any credible non-partisan election observation.

 

 

Parliamentary Elections

Final Report of the "Akanates" Observation Mission of the Snap Parliamentary Elections

TI, Asparez, Restart & IDPF

The final report of the long-term and short-term "Akanates" ("Eyewitness") Observation Mission of the 2018 Snap Parliamentary Elections in Armenia indicates that the elections were held in an atmosphere of a free, competitive and peaceful electoral contest, which essentially differed from the national elections held in previous years. Nevertheless, a few issues were identified during the observation, based on which a number of recommendations are presented.

 

Analytical Report

Reflection of recommendations by international election observation missions in the RA 2016 electoral code and their implementation during 2017 National Assembly and Yerevan City Council Elections

HCAV

Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor analyzed the recommendations by international election observers and their implementation. According to the report, the current Electoral Code includes several recommendations by OSCE/ODIHR, yet many of these have not been properly adopted. The lack of open discussions during the drafting of the code was unfortunate. The recent elections showed that many recommendations reflected in the Code have not been effectively implemented, and the recommendations not taken into consideration were more than necessary, such as those on taking action against election bribery and ensuring financial transparency of the campaign.

 

Statement

Statement on restrictions of the activities of local observers and mass media representatives in the Draft Electoral Code of the Republic of Armenia

TI & HCAV
Armenia

The Draft Electoral Code of the Republic of Armenia was adopted by the National Assembly of Armenia in its third reading on May 25, 2016. Unfortunately, neither the proposals submitted by the political forces and civil society, nor the recommendations on 2012 parliamentary and 2013 presidential elections by OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission and on 2015 referendum by Referendum Expert Team and considerable part of the recommendations put forward in the Preliminary Joint Opinion on the Draft Electoral Code of Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR failed to be considered.

 

Statement

Statement on the Drafting of the New Electoral Code of the Republic of Armenia

TI & HCAV

Citizen’s election observers urge the Armenian authorities to safeguard transparency of the process of drafting the new election law and to include all relevant experts, representatives of the civil society and the political parties in the process. The authorities should establish an updated voter register and provide proper voter lists, cancel undue restrictions of the observers’ rights and introduce cameras at the polling stations with live stream on internet.

 

Constitutional Referendum

Preliminary statement on the conduct of the Constitutional Referendum

TI & HCAV

Citizen Observer Initiative and the European Platform for Democratic Elections found an unprecedented number of violations on the December 6 Constitutional Referendum. The referendum campaign was marred by massive misuse of administrative resources to campaign in favor of the constitutional changes and influencing the voting and tabulation process via control of electoral administration on the territorial and local levels. 

 
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