Bazeyan Tells of Past Election Rigging

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The parliament faction of the Yerkrapah battalion will present to the National Assembly an election guideline without loopholes which allow for unfair elections–said Albert Bazeyan–chairperson of Yerkrapah. He claimed that the 1995 and 1996 elections were rigged and should never be allowed to reoccur in Armenia.

Bazeyan said it is necessary to avoid situations in which "this or that political force asks outsiders to come and see what is going on. "These appeals have greatly damaged our country’s prestige abroad –which in turn has caused tensions at home," he added. Unfortunately–said Bazeyan–it must be stated that Yerkrapah has also been involved in those processes–and that involvement has adversely affected its rating and prestige. He said that Yerkrapah has come to the conclusion that Armenia needs democracy–and that no one is a politician from birth but becomes one through practice.

He explained that Yerkrapah believe that the choice should belong to the people–which hardly ever make mistakes.

Bazeyan stressed that elections need be transparent; and that there is a need to create mechanisms for setting up electoral committees which will be representative of all political forces and opinions. Bazeyan expressed his concern over the draft election code amended by the working group led by the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly–Ara Sahakian. The draft provides the government and local bodies with greater powers in holding elections while the Armenian National Movement–according to Bazeyan–"still considers itself the ruling party and has its representatives in all regions to promote its vast experience in holding and–alas–rigging elections."

Addressing the majority system and the system of proportional representation–Bazeyan held that the fears of the opposition that the majority system will enable criminals to enter parliament are groundless. According to Bazeyan–"proceeding from the current composition of the parliament–one can say that such people (criminals) can be returned to parliament simply by being on a list of party candidates. They would never have never been elected through a democratic system."

According to him–there are some deputies entering the Republic faction who haven’t advanced a single initiative for the two and a half years of their work in the parliament.

Bazeyan felt it would be quite appropriate if 40 percent of deputies are returned by the system of proportional representation and 60 percent by the majority system.

"We shall study the drafts and without any political bias start working toward approving a correct one," Bazeyan concluded.


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