By Ruzanna Khachatrian
Armenia’s Central Election Commission has until November 11 to formally announce the date of the presidential election due next year.
According to a calculation based on the provisions of Armenia’s constitution, the vote is to be scheduled for February 19.
“The chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) will, without fail, make a statement on public television and radio and that will take place until November 11,” CEC Secretary Abraham Bakhchagulian confirmed to RFE/RL on Wednesday.
He said that the timetable of all stages of the electoral process would be defined following the official announcement by the CEC chairman.
The next elected president of Armenia will assume office on April 9 regardless of whether there will be a runoff election or not.
The government will compensate half of the expenditures incurred by the candidates who gather 25 or more percent of the vote.
If the bill amending the country’s election code passed by the National Assembly in the first reading on Monday is adopted in the second reading, only political parties or persons themselves will be allowed to nominate candidates. Nominations by a bloc of political parties or by civic initiatives will be abolished.
Only one party has so far formalized its decision on nominating a candidate.
Aram Karapetian was officially declared a presidential candidate by his Nor Zhamanakner (New Times) party in early October.
Other political parties, including major government and opposition parties, are due to hold their meetings in the course of this month to declare their nominations.