Independent citizen observer groups praise the overall calm and fair conduct of the early parliamentary elections held in Armenia on 9 December 2018.
“The voting process throughout Armenia was generally calm and conducted in accordance with the law, however few serious incidents were recorded” said Sona Ayvazyan, director of Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center and one of the leaders of the Akanates observers coalition. "While presence of unauthorised persons at the polling stations and guided voting was observed in some cases, it did not affect the voting process in general”.
“The misuse of administrative resources in favour of the ruling party has been significantly reduced”, said Artur Sakunts, Chairman of the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor and one of the leaders of the Independent Observer coalition. “We have observed the best performed elections since decades”, said Sakunts. All speakers mentioned the overall lack of competence of precinct election commissioners while the performance of higher level commissions and the law enforcement bodies was assessed positively.
“During the campaign period, equal conditions for all parties and candidates were provided”, said Daniel Ioanissian, head of the Union of Informed Citizens and another representative of the Independent Observer Coalition. The main problem of the campaign was its short period, but in comparison to the previous elections, this time there was a real campaign and not only its imitation”, said Ioanissian.
“Less pressure on the voters and candidates, hardly any cases of vote buying, pressure or intimidation, freedom of expression – all this allows us to say that the election results reflect the true will of the Armenian voters”, said Levon Barseghyan, chairman of the Asparez Club and member of the Akanates coalition.
Armenian EPDE member organisations Helsinki Citizens Assembly Vanadzor and Transparency International Anticorruption Center deployed approximately 1500 long term and short term observers from the citizen observers’ coalitions Independent Observer and Akanates all over Armenia on voting day, 9 December.
Experts of the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) carried out statistical analysis of voting day, and can determine that some important progress has been achieved in conducting fair elections compared to the 2017 parliamentary elections.
The European Platform for Democratic Elections is a network of 14 European organisations working together on an equal level to promote domestic election observation and contribute to democratic election processes throughout Europe.