CEC of Armenia approves changes to voting procedure
The Central Election Commission of Armenia approved the calendar of events for the upcoming early elections as well as changes to the voting procedure. From now on, voters will no longer mark anything on the ballot papers, they will only have to choose the ballot paper 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 last until midnight on June 18.
Early parliamentary elections are scheduled for June 20.
On May 10, the Armenian parliament dissolved. The ruling bloc and two opposition parties have 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 nomination of elections for June 20.
A political crisis arose in Armenia after the end of the Second Karabakh War in the fall of 2020. Immediately after the defeat of Armenia, the opposition demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who in turn, said he was elected by the will of all residents of the country and would not leave at the behest of opposition supporters. There was only one way out of the crisis: to organize early elections.
Without pen election
Central Election Commission secretary Armen Smbatyan said the pen will not be needed in the June 20 vote. 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 back of the ballot papers as was the case in the past:
“The signal pen will not be used to vote. The voting will proceed 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 party lists. When the elections are held according to a proportional system, the mandates of the deputies are distributed according to the number of votes obtained by the parties.
Campaign calendar and registration process
Polling stations will be formed by May 26, and parties and party blocs must submit documents to the CEC for registration by 6:00 p.m. on May 26.
“During the specified period, along with the registration documents, parties can also submit requests for placement of campaign posters on billboards with an area of more than 5 square meters. The deadline for submitting applications is June 5, ”said CEC Chief Tigran Mukuchyan.
Parties and party blocs will be registered to participate in elections by May 30.
The CEC spokesman told reporters that video cameras would be installed in 1,500 major polling stations. During the count, representatives, observers and journalists may be present in the polling stations.
On May 10, while addressing the 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 wish:
“Video cameras from the Central Election Commission will be installed in 97% of polling stations across the country and will be broadcast live. In addition to CEC cameras, everyone has cameras on their phones these days. With their help, one can not only record, but also perform a live broadcast. Confidants of candidates, whether from the ruling bloc or the opposition, will be able to broadcast live from the polling stations. It will not be an exaggeration to say that each ballot will be done through the lens of television cameras ”.
Pashinyan added that institutional changes have taken place in the country and now the people themselves really decide who should be in power. Pashinyan sees this as an achievement of his government that came to power after the “ velvet revolution ” of 2018.