CEC Asks President to Postpone Election Date

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Central Electoral Commission of Armenia asked president Robert Kocharian to postpone the date of the parliamentary elections–scheduled for May 30.

At a Tuesday meeting CEC Chairman Khachatour Bezirjian said that there isn’t enough time for the division of the country into electoral districts. The Election Code will be enforced beginning on February 28 and by then the country’s territory should be divided into electoral districts. However–the CEC does not have voter registers from all communities–while voter registers received from some communities may be inaccurate.

Compared to the previous elections–the number of voters has significantly grown implying that some figures might have been exaggerated for the purpose of creating more precincts.

"Currently we have no right to conduct checkups," Bezirjian said. If the election date is postponed–it will allow for more precise ad accurate electoral division–said Bezirjian. Ideally–the elections should be postponed for two weeks–"but one week is also enough," said Bezirjian.

CEC members also noted that the schedule for major preparations for the parliamentary elections has already been disrupted because–as mandated by the Election Code–the number of voters should have been submitted to CEC 95 days before the elections–that is by February 24. However–there are communities and regions which have not submitted voter registers yet–while CEC has no right to intervene in the process. Numbered one-mandate electoral districts must be publicized by CEC at least 90 days before the elections–which is almost impossible. And if the parties decide to submit CEC lists of their candidates nominated by the proportional election system immediately after the election date is announced–the Central Electoral Commission will be placed in a stalemate–because the Code has not come into force yet.

The Election Code will be enforced beginning on February 28–therefore CEC cannot take decisions proceeding from the document which is not yet effective.

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