PACE Issues Statement on Constitutional Referendum

PACE issued a statement on the observer mission for Sunday's referendum

PACE issued a statement on the observer mission for Sunday’s referendum

YEREVAN—The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) issued a statement on its observation of the referendum on the new constitution in Armenia, reported Yerkir Media.

Below is the text of the statement.

“A cross-party delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was present in Armenia from 4 to 7 December 2015 to observe the referendum on constitutional reforms which took place on 6 December and led to a new constitution.

After a somewhat low-key campaign with little public debate and a calm referendum day, according to preliminary results, around 64% of those who participated voted did so in favour of the changes thus meeting the quorum of 25% of the registered voters needed to approve the changes.

The relatively low turn-out, around 50% of the population, reflects the fact that the referendum was driven by political interests instead of the needs of the Armenian public and was perceived by many citizens as a vote of confidence in the government rather than on the many proposals for change. The two-and-a-half-year reform process was not inclusive enough, the parliament having only a few weeks to discuss the text and public debate being limited to two months, making it difficult for an agreement to be reached. Thus, the core of the constitutional change – the shift from a presidential to a parliamentary system – was understood by too many citizens as being a means for the current president to remain in power after the end of his second (and what would have been final) term.

Concerning the voting process, the delegation regrets that the authorities were not more concerned by the integrity of the process leading to a new constitution and that it must mention several problems, many of them already mentioned in previous PACE and Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR recommendations:

• the inaccuracy of the voting lists containing the names of many people residing permanently abroad or even deceased, leading to claims that these identities were usurped by people who then voted several times;
• allegations of large-scale organized vote buying and carousel voting as well as pressure on voters;
• the media playing field was once again not a level one and the political parties were not able to fulfil their duties of informing and motivating the public;
• the misuse of administrative resources by executive bodies;
• allegations of pressure on, and attempts to corrupt, election officials;
• shortcomings in the training of precinct election officials, particularly during counting;
• the lack of mobile voting effectively excluded disabled citizens from the process.

The delegation urges the authorities to address these issues in order to build trust in the voting process and in politics in general to ensure a genuinely democratic future for Armenia.

While in Armenia, the delegation met leaders and representatives of parliamentary groups and parties, the Chairperson of the CEC, representatives of civil society and the media as well as OSCE/ODIHR experts.”


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  1. Lusik said:

    PACE has its own interests to put dirt on anything Armenian.
    Meanwhile, truly concerned parties tried to solve the problems. Here is an extract from other report:
    “The CEC Chairman, Tigran Mukuchian, challenged the opposition to present documentary evidence of fraud in writing and pledged that his office will investigate all applications.

    The ARF, which supported the Constitutional reforms, addressed the fraud allegations, but was generally upbeat about the vote, saying that the new constitution will usher in improvement to the electoral system.

    ARF’s parliamentary bloc leader Armen Rustamyan told reporters on Monday that his party’s election monitors were alerted to incidents of fraud, which he said were PREVENTED with the assistance of ARF poll monitors.

    Rustamyan pointed out that factions who are claiming large-scale fraud were doing so BEFORE Sunday’s vote, adding that unsubstantiated claims were one-sided. He too urged that complaints be filed with the CEC.

    The ARF leader put things in perspective by pointing out the referendum was held under Armenia’s old election laws, which contain deficiencies, adding that the new constitution would provide Armenia with the possibility of reforming election laws to conform to more democratic systems.”

  2. minas said:

    Shame on all those who support this falsified elections and referendums! I was watching some of the videos on YouTube and just couldn’t believe it that the vote buying is being done by such impunity.

    • Lusik said:

      Have you ever considered the possibility of staged, video taped falsification that is posted later as a the video. I would not judge about important things based on internet postings. Moreover, be aware, that there is a such thing like photoshop (edition of photo images). So, think critical about critical things.

      • minas said:

        For gods sake stop the nonsense, we are not 5 year old kids. Photoshop! You think I am idiot or what? The journalist is in front of what they call “Ayo Shdab”, hundreds of people keep going inside with their passports and then leaving the building, refusing to answer to her questions. When she insists to go inside and see what is going on there, they send an illiterate, vulgar old woman who starts insulting her and spitting on her, blocking her way. How are you going to explain this? And this is only one example of what I have seen. The real enemy is in Armenia, the corrupt political system which has created a nation of zombies who are ready to go all the to Russia to wash their washrooms and earn a living but not fight in their own country for justice. Keep supporting the criminal Serjik and his gang and see what is going to be left of that small country in 10 years.

  3. Raffi said:

    DOES this make any sense, to make a whole constitutional change just to extend the president few years of saty in power?,. Secondly I doubt Pace has any crediblity after presenting the report on Sarsang dam