Statement prior to the second reading of the new Electoral Code of Armenia

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, having engaged in the analysis of the draft Electoral Code, having prepared alternative proposals and solutions, and having delegated our representatives to participate in the “4+4+4” discussions, hereby make the following statement prior to the second reading and voting of the Draft in the National Assembly.  We make this statement now, having read the Venice Commission and ODIHR Joint Opinion, which happens to share our concerns.

The Draft currently pending before the National Assembly, which was voted in the first reading, is in our opinion highly unacceptable.  The Venice Commission and ODIHR Joint Opinion concurs with our assessment that the Draft is not up to the international standards and norms both with respect to securing the integrity of the vote and in forming a truly representative, democratic parliament.

In its Joint Opinion, the Venice Commission and ODIHR have made recommendations on most of the problematic provisions of the Draft. It has also presented suggestions that are necessary as a minimum for making the draft satisfactory.

Although the Venice Commission and ODIHR’s Joint Opinion does not cover all of the problematic issues in the Draft, we urge the authorities and the National Assembly to make all of the changes recommended in that Opinion. We particularly insist on the recommendations contained in Paragraphs 14 and 15 of the Opinion.

Not making these recommendations, all of which coincide with the ones we made earlier, will be considered by us as a regrettable dismissal of society’s and international community’s demand to improve the quality of the electoral process and to increase the trust therein.

We take this opportunity also to reiterate that, in our opinion, the provision that will truly change the credibility and quality of the electoral process is the publication of the signed voters’ lists immediately after the results tabulation in each precinct.

Statement is open to join:

Helsinki Committee of Armenia
“Asparez” Journalists’ Club
Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor office
Open Society Foundations – Armenia
Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center
Collaboration for Democracy Center
“Iravaget Serund” NGO

Protection of rights without borders NGO
Foundation Against the Violation of the Law
Women Resource Center – Armenia
Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation
Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression
Helsinki Human Rights Group of Spitak NGO
Peace Dialogue NGO
Protection of Rights without Borders NGO
Hrazdan Civic Youth Center
Khoran Ard Intellectual Centre NGO