Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s opposition alliance on Friday appealed to Armenia’s Constitutional Court to annul the official results of the April 2 parliamentary elections because of what it called serious irregularities.
The Congress-HZhK alliance accused the ruling Republican Party (HHK) of systematically bribing and intimidating voters and using its administrative resources otherwise to win the ballot. It presented the court with more than 40 pages of written documents as well as video and audio material purportedly proving fraud.
“Especially because of the abuse of administrative resources and a number of other violations it was not possible to ensure a free expression of the people’s will,” said Tigran Yegorian, a lawyer who filed the appeal on behalf of the bloc.
Levon Zurabian, a Congress-HZhK leader, indicated that he believes the court is unlikely to scrap the official results which showed Ter-Petrosian's bloc garnering 1.65 percent of the vote. “We have no illusions but it’s our duty to finish this work,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “If we have many arguments, we have to present them to the court.”
The Central Election Commission (CEC) already rejected last week a separate Congress-HZhK demand to declare the vote null and void.
In an April 7 statement, the Congress-HZhK bloc also alleged “numerous registered cases of multiple voting” by government loyalists. It had said in the run-up to the polls that multiple voting will be practically impossible because of opposition-backed amendments to the Electoral Code enacted by the authorities last fall.
Those changes led to the installation of electronic voter authentication devices in all polling stations. The authorities also agreed to publicize the signed lists of voters that cast ballots on April 2. This allowed opposition parties to verify whether somebody else voted in place of those Armenians who were absent from the country or simply boycotted the polls.
European election observers did not report significant instances of multiple voting in their preliminary findings released on April 3. They cited instead “credible information about vote-buying, and pressure on civil servants and employees of private companies.”