Election Code to be Finalized by Monday

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–On January 25 the National Assembly of Armenia expects to hold a special session to discuss the draft election code in the second reading. Member of "Yerkrapah" parliamentary group and author of the draft election code Viktor Dallakian said that the draft is currently being finalized.

The draft election code proposes to earmark three seats in the election commissions to the government–five seats to the National Assembly factions and groups–and five seats to parties which have no factions but have collected the necessary number of signatures.

To have delegates in an election commission and to participate in elections by the proportional system–it is necessary to collect 30,000 signatures–while persons participating in the elections by the majority system must collect 2,000 signatures.

Under the finalized draft–parties participating in the elections by the proportional system must pay a deposit of $5,000–whereas persons participating by the majority system–$200.

Candidate registration forms must be posted 40 days before the elections and remain on walls for 7 days after the elections. he proposed ratio of proportional to majoritarian system remained unchanged–56 to 75.

As to penalties for violations reported during the elections–Dallakian noted that the election code should specify only forms of penalties–while the size of the penalty should be specified in the Criminal Law.

Under the draft election code persons in custody would be given the right to actively participate in the elections. They would carry out their election campaigns through their proxies.

A decision on the election code has been long and controversial. Many view the adoption of this code and the process of debate in the National Assembly–caused the political crisis between the opposition and forces loyal to President Robert Kocharian.

The Monday vote may ease tensions in Parliament.

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