Transparency International reveals new violations during elections in Armenia

Tue 04 July 2017 05:08 GMT | 09:08 Local Time

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According to the program manager, 90 cases of voter bribery were identified.

Transparency International got back to the issue of violations during the parliamentary elections in Armenia.

At a press conference on July 3, the head of Transparency International programs in Armenia Varuzhan Oktanian noted that this is the fifth such monitoring. Its important difference from the previous ones is that in previous years the main emphasis was placed on monitoring the financing of the election campaign. "Past years have shown that the use of administrative resources has become increasingly important," said Oktanian.

The current monitoring was conducted from March 5 to April 1. "According to the authors of the methodology, the administrative resource is no longer applied in the process of voting. However, this is not true," the program manager added.

"The methodology uses two tools: the study of media data and direct monitoring.

"Respondents from 13 cities participated in the study. Moreover, the monitoring was conducted not through open interviews, but through observations. "In the current situation, the interview would not have yielded results," Oktanian said.

According to him, the monitoring revealed specific facts of violations, and in general the violations are systemic. According to the program manager, there were 90 cases of voter bribery, with 53 identified by observers, the rest by media. The Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) and the Tsarukyan bloc have been particularly 'active' in this case. In general, bribery of voters is the most common violation.

On the second place are violations related to the work of officials at headquarters during working hours. "This is a serious violation and the use of administrative resources, whatever the CEC said," added Oktanian. Indirect methods of pressure on voters are widespread, for example, when an employer does this.

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