By Ruzanna Stepanian
An outspoken veteran oppositionist is offering a plan which he says costs only $2.5 million, but can ensure free and fair elections in Armenia.
Arshak Sadoyan, leader of the National-Democratic Bloc (AZhD), on Wednesday unveiled a complex program developed by his party, which he said had been submitted to U.S. Ambassador John Evans, as well as brought to the attention of several international organizations, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
According to Sadoyan, the organizations generally welcomed the initiative.
Sadoyan plans the program to be carried out as part of the U.S. election-related assistance to Armenia of $6.5 million.
The program, in particular, makes several suggestions, such as implementing e-control over the vote and outcomes, printing ballot-papers abroad; training about 25,000 candidates for proxies, local observers and election commission members, and others.
Sadoyan thinks that the educational program of the Central Election Commission in the past targeted only for pro-government candidates. Now he suggests that representatives of the opposition have access to this training as well.
Sadoyan also has suggestions regarding radio and TV broadcasts for campaigning purposes, which he says must be countrywide.
The veteran lawmaker also suggests that candidates hold their meeting with voters in the presence of recognized and reputed foreign figures, which he says will ‘stop authorities from arresting dozens of meeting participants. ‘
“If this program is not accepted, we will turn to the international community, the CNN, the New York Times, etc.,” Sadoyan said.