YEREVAN (ARF Press Service)—Rampant and blatant voting discrepancies in Armenia’s parliament prompted Armenian Revolutionary Federation bloc president Vahan Hovannesian to call the ruling party’s promise of democratic elections a “lie.”
During legislative voting on Wednesday and Thursday, especially on the crucial vote to approve legislation on Armenia’s Law on Emergency Rule, parliament members from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia voted for other deputies who were absent from the session.
An angry Hovannesian said lawmakers voting for others was not a first, saying that irregularities were rampant in the country’s legislature.
“This means that the ruling political power is really not a power, but a power forced by strength — it is able neither to convince nor to place its words as truth. It is even unable to organize its own faction’s voting,” said Hovanessian.
“Having the absolute majority, the Republican Party of Armenia is unable to pass a law. This isn’t a new phenomenon, but perhaps could overcome its own feebleness. Pressing a button for someone else describes not only the button-pushers, but also their faction — this speaks of the entire political system,” stressed Hovanessian.
“If you have disregard for and can bypass the law in order to achieve your goals, then why should I believe that you, despite all your promises, will hold democratic elections in Armenia?” asked Hovannesian.
The Heritage party also strongly condemned deputies from the ruling for voting in the place of their absent to colleagues to push about a dozen government bills through parliament this week.
In a statement, Heritage described the practice as an “outright falsification” that testifies to an “unprecedented level of political corruption” in Armenia.
Larisa Alaverdian, a Heritage bloc member, accused the parliament leadership of deliberately turning a blind eye to the irregularities and called President Serzh Sarkisian, who is the leader of the Republican Party to react to this situation.
Government Rejects ARF and Heritage Proposition
Also last week, the government rejected a proposal put forth by the ARF and the Heritage party calling for parliamentary elections to be held entirely on a proportional electoral system abolishing the single-seat mandate.
First Deputy Justice Minister Gourgen Mouradyan commented on the opposition’s proposal saying changing the voting system would require lengthy discussion. He also added that the single-seat mandate allows the voter an alternative to voting for political parties.
Hovannesian summed up the rejection by saying that if the government reject the opposition proposal because in the event of the reform, the government would lose all power.