Electoral Law Amendment Group Begins Work

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The first meeting of the working group on amendmen’s to the Electoral Law was held at the National Assembly on January 13. The group is led by the co-author of the current law Victor Dallakian.

The committee includes representatives of parliamentary factions and the Stability deputy group–some members of the Central Electoral Commission–including its Chairman Artak Sahradian–and co-author of the law Hrair Tovmassian.

The group started with the consideration of legal procedures. The Central Electoral Commission made over three dozen proposals.

The first of the issues on the meeting agenda was the terms of vote counting. According to CEC Chairman Artak Sahradian–the last two elections–National Assembly and local government bodies–revealed a number of weak points of the current law. One of these shortcomings is an extremely short period for vote counting and announcement of election returns.

"Court appeals saved the CEC some time and due to that the Commission had been able to summarize the results within a period of five days–otherwise–the Commission would certainly have failed to publish the results within the period of 72 hours stipulated by the law" the CEC Chairman confessed. The CEC Chairman’suggested that the term be prolonged to 10 days–but he did not mind 8-9 days.

Presenting the viewpoints of their parties–the participants in the discussion agreed to the proposal to extend the term for summing up election results by the Central and Regional Electoral Commissions.

The term set for district electoral commissions were not changed as they were found to be appropriate.

The highest possible number of eligible voters in the registers of polling stations is 3,000–and in villages–especially in remote mountainous communities–it is much lower.

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