New CEC Board Announced

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The deadline for nominating candidates to the Central Electoral Commission expired on April 26. The same day political parties and government officials named their candidates to the CEC.

Five seats in the 13-member CEC go to the five parties which have factions in the incumbent National Assembly. Another five seats are reserved for parties and blocs that collected the largest number of signatures during their canvassing campaigns. The remaining three seats are named by the government.

The Self-Determination Union+ bloc will be represented by Silva Markosian (a member of the outgoing CEC representing the SDU). The National Democratic Union will be represented by Vahe Varsanian–the Communist Party of Armenia will be represented by Vanya Mkhitarian–Shamiram’s representative is Rouben Hovhannissian; the "Hayrenik" bloc will be represented by Armen Khojoyan; The "Strong Armenia" party will be represented by Sergey Poghossian and the Armenian National Movement by Rouben Manoukian. All preceding names were former members of the outgoing CEC–with the latter serving as its vice-chair.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation will be represented by Hamlet Abrahamian–while the "Orinats Yerkir" faction named Artashes Avoyan the "Unity" bloc named Ashot Sargsian as their representatives.

The government nominated Artak Sahradian (director of the National Institute of Labor & Social Research of the Ministry of Social Welfare); Vahan Aslanian (Yerevan municipal worker) and Armenuhi Zohrabian (former CEC secretary) to the remaining position.

The new CEC includes seven members from the previous CEC and one member from the 1995-1996 commission [Vahan Aslanian].

The newly formed CEC held its first meeting presided over by the outgoing chairman Khachatur Bezirjian. The meeting agenda included the election of the chairman–vice-chairman and secretary. All 13 members were in attendance.

Arshak Sahradian–named by the government–was elected chairman by a vote of 10-1–with 2 abstentions.

Vanya Mkhitarian was unanimously elected vice-chairman–while Armenuhi Zohrabian was unanimously elected secretary.

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