CEC of Armenia approves changes to voting procedure
The Central Election Commission of Armenia approved the schedule of events for the upcoming early elections as well as changes to the voting procedure. From now on, voters will not mark anything on the ballots, instead, they will only need to choose the ballot of the corresponding political force, place it in the envelope, and put it in the ballot box.
The election campaign will begin on June 7 and will last until midnight on June 18.
Early parliamentary elections are scheduled for June 20.
On May 10, the Armenian parliament dissolved itself. The ruling bloc and two opposition parties agreed to hold early elections in order to overcome the political crisis in the country.
On the same day, Armenian President Armen Sargsyan signed a decree on the dissolution of the National Assembly and the appointment of elections for June 20.
A political crisis occurred in Armenia following the end of the second Karabakh war in the fall of 2020. Immediately after the defeat Armenia, the opposition demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who, in turn, stated that he was elected by the will of all residents of the country and would not leave upon the request of the opposition supporters. There was only one way out of the crisis – to hold early elections.
- Armenian parliament dissolved to allow early elections
- Armenian ex-president to lead bloc of two opposition parties in June elections
Secretary of the Central Election Commission Armen Smbatyan stated that the pen will not be needed during the June 20 voting. For the first time in Armenia, the elections will be held according to the proportional system, and the names of the majority candidates will no longer be indicated on the reverse side of the ballots as they used to be in the past:
“The flagging pen will not be used for voting. Voting will be carried out as follows: the voter will choose one of the ballots [the ballot of the political force that he intends to vote for] and put it in an envelope”.
A proportional electoral system presupposes the formation of elected bodies of power based solely on the party lists. When elections are held according to a proportional system, deputy mandates are distributed in full accordance with the number of votes gained by the parties.
Campaign schedule and registration procedure
Polling stations will be formed by 26 May, and parties and party blocs must submit documents to the CEC for registration by 18:00 on May 26.
“During the specified period, together with the documents for registration, parties can also submit applications for placing campaign posters on billboards with an area of more than 5 square meters. The deadline for submitting applications is June 5”, said the head of the CEC Tigran Mukuchyan.
Parties and party blocs will be registered to participate in the elections by May 30.
The CEC spokesman told reporters that video cameras will be installed at 1,500 main polling stations. During the counting of votes, proxies, observers and journalists will be able to be present at the polling stations.
On May 10, while addressing parliament before its dissolution, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stressed that the Armenian authorities will not be able to rig the election results, even if they want to:
“Video cameras of the Central Election Commission will be installed at 97% of polling stations in the country and they will be will broadcasting live. In addition to the CEC cameras, everyone has cameras on their phones nowadays. With their help, one can not only record, but also conduct a live broadcast. Confidants of candidates, whether from the ruling bloc or from the opposition, will be able to broadcast live from polling stations. It will not be an exaggeration to say that every ballot will be in the lens of TV cameras”.
Pashinyan added that institutional changes have taken place in the country, and now the people themselves actually decide who should be in power. Pashinyan considers this to be an achievement of his government which came to power after the 2018 ‘Velvet Revolution’.