The Armenian authorities denied on Monday opposition allegations that they have deliberately inflated the number of eligible voters to falsify the May 6 parliamentary elections.
“I find this fuss created by our opposition colleagues artificial,” said Eduard Sharmazanov, a deputy parliament speaker and the chief spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK).
“The authorities will exclude any undemocratic and illegal manifestation during the elections,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “We will do everything to make these elections normal and democratic.”
Sharmazanov was reacting to opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian’s claims that the allegedly inflated vote registers will be the authorities’ “main resource of vote rigging” in the HHK’s favor. Ter-Petrosian said the lists include as many as 700,000 voters who are absent from the country or do not exist at all.
Sharmazanov dismissed these claims as pre-election rhetoric. He insisted that the lists were made public last week in order to allow relevant state authorities to eliminate possible inaccuracies before the elections.
Sharmazanov also claimed that the number of eligible voters has increased by roughly 185,000 to almost 2.5 million since 2008 simply because many young Armenians born in the early 1990s have reached the voting age. “You may say there are some people who are not in Armenia at present but you will agree that most people leaving Armenia to work abroad do not give up Armenian citizenship,” he said.