EU Hails Armenian Election Deal

Johannes Hahn, the EU commissioner for European neighborhood policy
Johannes Hahn, the EU commissioner for European neighborhood policy

Johannes Hahn, the EU commissioner for European neighborhood policy

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—The European Union welcomed on Wednesday a landmark agreement between Armenia’s government and opposition on the proper conduct of next year’s Armenian parliamentary elections.

“Armenia: we welcome the signature of a new political agreement on electoral reform between the government and the opposition,” Johannes Hahn, the EU commissioner for European neighborhood policy, said on his Twitter page.

“The EU stands ready to assist, also financially, in the implementation of this important agreement,” Hahn wrote.

The agreement was signed on Tuesday by representatives of the government and three major Armenian opposition parties. It is meant to prevent multiple voting and other types of fraud in the general elections due in April 2017. The Armenian parliament is now due to approve corresponding amendments to the Electoral Code.

Levon Zurabian, a leader of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), said Western donors have already agreed to provide about 9 million euros ($10 million) for the deal’s implementation. The sum will be spent, among other things, on the purchase of equipment required for live online broadcasts of voting and ballot counting in all 2,000 or so polling stations across the country.

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