More than two thousand dead persons have been identified and removed from Armenia’s electoral rolls so far in their continuing revision by the police, a senior official said on Friday.
Hovannes Kocharian, head of the police Department on Passports and Visas, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that some 700 other citizens were excluded from the registers for other reasons, including a change of place of residence.
“As of now the number of voters has decreased by about 3,000,” he said, adding that the department will continue the verification process until the May 6 voting in the parliamentary elections.
The announcement will hardly placate the Armenian opposition which accuses the authorities of deliberately inflating the voter lists to be able to rig the ballot. The accusations followed the release last month of police data that shows the number of eligible voter having increased by around 185,000 since 2008.
Armenia’s three main opposition forces are worried that fraudulent ballots marked for the ruling Republican Party (HHK) could be cast in place of hundreds of thousands of Armenian nationals living abroad. In a joint letter to Armenian police chief Vladimir Gasparian sent late earlier this month, they demanded that the police publicize those voters’ names.
Gasparian and other police officials insist that they have no such information. They have also ruled out the possibility of voter list manipulation.
President Serzh Sarkisian gave similar assurances last week. He argued that the lists are available on the Internet and can be verified by the opposition and ordinary voters.