Մատչելիության հղումներ

Court Rules Against New Voter Registration In Yerevan


Armenia - Constitutional Court, Undated

Armenia’s Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional on Friday a legal provision allowing electoral authorities to register new voters for this month’s mayoral elections in Yerevan and ignore strong opposition objections.

One of the articles of the Armenian Electoral Code stipulates that the heads of local governments in the country are to be elected by citizens who have resided in a particular community for at least one year.

Despite this restriction, the Central Election Commission (CEC) has allowed district administrations and police departments in Yerevan to include all city residents on the vote registers to be used in the May 31 elections of a new municipal assembly. The CEC based the decision on another Electoral Code article that sets no minimum residency requirements for Yerevan voters.

The main opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) has denounced the decision, saying that the clause invoked by the CEC is unconstitutional. The HAK asked the Constitutional Court last month to declare it null and void.

The court essentially accepted the opposition claims. “The mentioned provision is only applicable to national elections during the drawing up of voters’ lists sorted by communities,” it said in a verdict read out by its chairman, Gagik Harutiunian.

“I hope that relevant bodies will take this into account and reconsider their previous decisions and draw up voter lists in a way that would address the problem,” added Harutiunian.

According to police data, approximately 10,000 citizens have been included on the Yerevan vote registers since last July.

The CEC did not immediately react to the court ruling. Its chairman, Garegin Azarian, has denied opposition claims that the new voter registration is meant to allow the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and its mayoral candidate, incumbent Mayor Gagik Beglarian, to get votes from their supporters and bribed voters living outside the capital.
XS
SM
MD
LG