Armenia

Peaceful voting day, but main opposition alliance significantly involved in electoral violations

Summary of Akanates press conference, video recording of press conference with English interpretation below:

The Akanates observation mission stated that the voting process was peaceful and well organized with no serious violations that would impact the election results. Although the pre-election campaign was quite fierce, these elections were generally in the hands of Armenian citizens. 

Violations observed were similar to those reported during the 2017 elections, but not as severe and less likely to have an impact on the election results. However, some notable violations were observed.

The most common violations were voter intimidation and presence of unauthorized persons at polling stations. Many cases all over the country were observed where voters were being pressured to vote in a certain way, bussing of voters, and of persons ‘supervising’ voters at polling stations. There were also several reports of vote buying, but there are not specific numbers on this as evidence is still being collected.

A large number of electoral violations were carried out by the Armenia Alliance. Other parties also had some cases of violations, but these were not in such significant numbers as for the Armenia Alliance.

Observes noted that during this election both ruling powers and other political forces were involved in misuse of administrative resources. Cases were also reported by military forces using administrative resources to benefit one political force, but it is unclear whether for the opposition or the ruling party.

Some issues with the handling ballot papers were observed, but those ballots with incorrect markings were not given to voters. Other violations of the Electoral Code included voters not signing voter lists or polling station members failing to sign protocols. Accessibility and the occasionally bad location of polling stations remain to be a problem. Observers reported also insufficient equipment and furnishings in some polling stations.

Some violations of the right of observers were reported, which ranged from hindering observers from taking photos of electoral procedures, to indirect threats or abusive language being used towards them.

On Election Day, there were several power cuts across Armenia. Observers noted that these did not interfere with the counting process and that no specific geographical trend in the power cuts could be detected.

 

Below you may watch a recording with English interpretation of Akanates' press conference, 21.06.2021 

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