ARF’s Kim Balayan Restored as Parliament Member

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Constitutional Court has acknowledged Kim Balayan of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation a legally elected member of Parliament from Yerevan’s election district No. 5. At the July 26 sitting the Constitutional Court considered Balayan’s claim wherein he challenged the results of the by-elections held on July 9.

The Yerevan Regional Election Committee nullified the by-elections for the reason that 600 unused ballot-papers were missing from the package of documen’s the YREC received from polling station No. 0061. As a result–the number of inaccuracies exceeded the difference between the votes received by the two candidates–Kim Balayan and Yeghya Shamshian–which according to YREC–ruled out the possibility of determining the winner at the by-elections. However–Kim Balayan made a claim to the Constitutional Court demanding that the YREC’s aforementioned decision be invalidated and the Central Election Commission register him as a member of Parliament.

In his claim–Balayan stated that used ballot-papers disappeared after the voting and summarizing of the results. At the court sitting the YREC representative insisted that in making its decision–the YREC proceeded from the requiremen’s of the law–from the results of the inspections it conducted in election district No. 5 after voting–as well as from the Constitutional Court’s previous decision concerning the same election district. The decision nullified the elections held there on May 21 for the reason that the number of inaccuracies exceeded the difference between the votes cast for two candidates who received the highest number of votes.

The court read out a memorandum of Head of the Department for the Protection of State Interests–Prosecutor’s Office of Armenia Gevorg Danielian. According to the memorandum–experts found out that the used ballot-papers were stolen after the voting and summarizing of the results–and criminal proceedings were initiated in that connection on July 17. The YREC representative went on claiming that the preliminary conclusion of the Prosecutor’s Office’s is groundless.

Listening to the parties and considering the aforementioned facts–the Constitutional Court arrived at a conclusion that the YREC had no proper basis for its decision. The CEC failed to properly control the by-elections–and the disappearance of the ballot-papers after the voting may not be a basis for annulling the by-elections. Hence–proceeding from Articles 100 and 102 of the Constitution–the Constitutional Court invalidated the YREC’s decision to null the by-elections in election district No. 5. The Court acknowledged Kim Balayan a legally elected member of Parliament.

The decision is final and without appeal.

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