Helsinki Association Says Opposition Committed Violations

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Violations during the May 30 parliamentary elections are not solely related with inaccuracies in voter registers. Violations took place during registration of observer organizations as well–chairman of the Helsinki Association Mikael Danielian told a news conference on June 9. He said that Sakharov’s Fund was registered as an observer organization–however–its chairman Aghassi Arshakian was running for parliament in both single-mandate constituency and party list voting. The Pan-Armenian Council of Women–whose member Larisa Alaverdian also ran for parliament by party list.

According to Danielian–whose organization also observed the electoral process–there is a discrepancy of 4,000 votes between the final protocol of the election by party list and information received from regions. Besides–he said that according to preliminary data on June 2 the number of invalid ballots and voters who voted against all candidates totaled 212,000–whereas in a final document this figure totaled 19,000.

Chairman of the Helsinki Association said it was strange that proxies of candidates–representing opposition parties–committed violations during the elections. He said that in the 6th electoral district proxies of a candidate from the National Democratic Union did not allow him to enter a polling station. Besides–in some electoral districts proxies of candidates participated in ballot count–which according to Danielian is banned by the law.

Danielian said that 12 observers of the Helsinki Association visited electoral districts in Yerevan–Giumri and Vanadzor and also paid a visit to the Yerevan pre-trial detention prison N 1–where 638 convicted persons voted–and the Giumri pre-trial detention prison N 2–where 65 convicted persons participated in the voting. According to Danielian–servicemen from the Giumri-based military units voted under pressure of officers.

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