In May 2017 HCA Vanadzor, jointly with the ‘Advanced Public Relations Group’ (APR Group) NGO, conducted a sociological survey throughout Armenia to find out the public positions on international entities (EU, EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union)).
Reflection of Recommendations by International Election Observation Missions in the RA 2016 Electoral Code and their Implementation during 2017 National Assembly and Yerevan City Council Elections
2017 National Assembly and Yerevan City Elections manifested that many recommendations reflected in the Code have not been effectively implemented, and the recommendations not taken into consideration were more than necessary.
In August 2016, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor, involving the ‘Advanced Public Research Group’ (APR Group) NGO, carried out a sociological survey in all the marzes (regions) of Armenia and capital Yerevan; one of the objectives of the survey was to find out the public position on Armenia’s orientation to the North or West.
Reflection of Recommendations by International Election Observation Missions in the RA Electoral Code
International Election Observation Missions (IEOM) have had a most significant role in pushing for electoral reforms, and particularly in terms of revising the electoral legislation. In 2015, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly – Vanadzor conducted a thorough analysis (Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor, 2015), assessing the implementation of recommendations submitted by International election observation mission in 2003-2013 in legislation and practice.
The report summarizes the results of the observation conducted in 60 polling stations and 10 Territorial election Commissions. “Independent Observer” Public Alliance believes that the Yerevan City Council Elections of May 14, 2017 were held in a blatant violation of the essential principles of democratic elections.
At its presentation held in Yerevan on June 13, 2017, the ‘Independent Observer’ Public Alliance presented the working version of the report prepared as a result of observing the RA NA elections of April 2, 2017 and the report was revised based on the comments and recommendations heard during the presentation.
It follows from the above that during the election campaign the candidates, nominated political parties and blocs did not enjoy equal opportunities as prescribed by the RA Electoral Code, the election campaign was accompanied by continuous violations through misuse of administrative resources which were not prevented by the RA CEC and law enforcement agencies and which cast suspicion on the fair and free nature of the elections.
During the election campaign period for the National Assembly (NA) elections to be held on April 2, 2017, the ‘Independent Observer’ Public Alliance carries out long-term observation mission in all the 13 voting districts (VD) of the Republic of Armenia. The long-term observation mission involves previously trained 61 observers and a legal consulting team consisting of 26 lawyers.
HCA Vanadzor issues the summary on the cases of human rights violations by the RA police officers during January-December, 2016, according to mass media outlets.
HCA Vanadzor has analyzed 66 recommendations issued by the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR in the Preliminary Opinion. According to this analysis 29 recommendations were implemented in the Final text of the Code, 24 recommendations were not implemented and 13 recommendations were implemented partly.
On October 2, 2016, there were local elections held in 377 communities. The New Electoral Code adopted by the RA National Assembly in May 25, 2016, stipulated a system for forming the local government in the cities of Vanadzor and Gyumri. According to the new system, residents of Vanadzor and Gyumri would directly vote only for a proportional city council, which in its turn would vote in a mayor. Each party/party alliance list would be led by their proposed candidate for the city head.