On February 26, Armenian NGOs gave a press conference at the Media Center announcing their joint statement on “The legitimacy of the 2013 presidential election in Armenia”
The participants of the press conference were Arthur Sakunts, head of the Helsinki Civil Assembly Vanadzor office, Varouzhan Hoktanyan, executive director of the Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center, Lara Aharonyan, director f the Women’s Resource Center and Larisa Minasyan, director of the Open Society Foundations – Armenia.
In their statement, the organizations pointed out, that “the results, officially published by the Central Electoral Commission do not correspond to reality and once again, the legitimate formation of the institution of presidency in Armenia has failed.”
“The observations, made by the NGOs have shown that the electoral process was marred by numerous breaches of the law, organized by the government: abuse of administrative resources, bribing of voters, threats, ballot stuffing, absentee voting and fraud during tabulation of results, corroborated by a multitude of facts, including video recordings in social networks, and media.”
It is also noted in the statement, that “The preliminary assessment of the observation missions, known for their work in promotion of democracy do not correspond to the real process and are largely determined by political reasons.”
The NGOs demand to “publish the signed voter lists in order to rule out any potential abuse and verify the legitimacy of the forming authorities.”
The NGOs that issued the statement and carried out observation missions assure that there are certain facts, corroborating the fraudulent increase of voter lists, and “if the authorities wish to restore the social trust, must demonstrate political will and publish the voter lists.”
According to the special voter list and turnout software of the Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center, it is clear that at polling stations with a turnout of above 72%, Serj Sargsyan, the incombent president, won by a considerable margin.
“An 80% turnout was registered at 222 polling stations, and at those polling stations Serj Sargsyan received at least 70% of the votes, and at those, where the turnout was below 60%, Raffi Hovhannisyan won. This is actual data, that inspires doubt,” – told Varouzhan Hoktanyan, the executive director of the Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center to the Media Center.
Arthur Sakunts, head of the Helsinki Civil Assembly Vanadzor office, announced, that on the elections day, 29 reports of electoral fraud were made to the police, but not a single case was opened.
Lara Aharonyan, director f the Women’s Resource Center, noted that there was more post-electoral protest this time, and not just in favor of one candidate, they do not originate from one center; “people protest all over the country, it would be easy for the authorities to silence the voice of several groups, but it is impossible to silence everybody and forever.”
You can watch the press conference by following this link.