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Police Deny Voter List Manipulation In Yerevan


Armenia - Hovannes Kocharian, head of the police Department on Passports and Visas, gives a news conference in Yerevan, 30Apr2013.

Armenia - Hovannes Kocharian, head of the police Department on Passports and Visas, gives a news conference in Yerevan, 30Apr2013.

An Armenian police agency drawing up the national voter registry on Tuesday denied opposition allegations that thousands of provincial residents loyal to the ruling Republican Party (HHK) will be illegally allowed to vote in Sunday’s municipal elections in Yerevan.

An Armenian police agency drawing up the national voter registry on Tuesday denied opposition allegations that thousands of provincial residents loyal to the ruling Republican Party (HHK) will be illegally allowed to vote in Sunday’s municipal elections in Yerevan.

“I am officially saying that such claims do not correspond to reality. They are simply lying,” said Hovannes Kocharian, head of the Department on Passports and Visas.

The HHK’s main challengers claim that many voters from various regions of Armenia have been registered as residents of Yerevan in recent weeks in order to vote for President Serzh Sarkisian’s party in the polls. Some opposition representatives on Monday cited an increase in the official number of eligible voters in the capital registered after the February 18 presidential election.

Kocharian, whose department certifies and keeps track of Armenians’ place of residence, denied such an increase, however. He said that the number of people included on Yerevan’s electoral lists actually shrunk to roughly 816,740 during the first quarter of this year. He said some 4,500 people were formally registered as Yerevan residents while more than 7,000 others terminated their registration in this period.

“As we can see, the number of those ending registration is larger than that of those getting registered,” Kocharian told a news conference. “So the elections have not affected the rise in registration figure in any way.”

The HHK has also denied any voter registration fraud ahead of the May 5 elections of the Council of Elders that will choose Yerevan’s next mayor.
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