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Armenian authorities undermine nation’s voting rights: U.S. diplomat

28 January 2015 [15:24] - TODAY.AZ

/By AzerNews/

By Mushvig Mehdiyev

Scaly falsifications and violations of law play a very significant role in each election in Armenia, said a U.S. diplomat.

Zoghovurd, a local newspaper, published a report by Mary Jovanovic, former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, on the Yerevan City Council election in 2009, which was kept in the U.S. diplomatic archive.

In her report Yovanovich provided her visions on the election process based on analysis of the pre-election situation in Yerevan and information she received from the authorities' camp, according to Zoghovurd.

She particularly underlined the very possibility of falsification attempts by the authorities, indicating to a practice of blatantly undermining the voting rights in Armenia.

Yovanovich said the people in Armenia took an extremely indifferent approach towards the election, despite of its major role in their life.

Based on the information from the circles which were closely observing the pre-election political processes in Armenia, the diplomat made an early statement in 2009 saying that the ruling Republican Party of Armenia and the Prosperous Armenia parties will share the first and second places respectively and the Armenian National Congress will claim the third place.

When the Central Election Commission officially released the results of elections in May 31, 2009, they exactly matched the early statement by Yovanovich.

Yovanovich noted that the ultimate goal of the ruling party during each election is to prevent its rivals from getting a large number of votes.

At the same time, Armenia's ruling elite held a simultaneous campaign to create a rival front during elections, for example, Gagik Tsarukyan, who was reportedly known for his smooth relations with the authorities, seriously engaged in pre-election campaign representing his own Prosperous Armenia party.

Meanwhile, Yovanovich said the circles in Yerevan perceived Tsarukyan as a rural man, who attracted the financially vulnerable and jobless parts of society to his side.

For instance, Yovanovich noted that during the financial crisis in 2008, Tsarukyan's support to people and charity helped him to gain the sympathy of most people.

She also added that Gagik Belgaryan, a candidate from the ruling party, was notorious for his relation with the criminal world and falsified pre-election campaigns.

The first ever election of Yerevan City Council in May 2009 turned to be a target for critical views for its unprecedented violations and law breaches. Following the publication of the voting results, Nigel Mermagen, Head of the UK Observation Delegation, called on the Armenian authorities to set higher standards for electoral ethics.

URL: http://www.today.az/news/regions/138490.html

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