YEREVAN–The ARF Bloc of Armenia’s National Assembly today issued a statement in parliament demanding a halt to violations taking place in the run-up to upcoming local-government elections. The text of the statement follows.
The election process for local-government bodies has been launched. Naturally–the attention of both the political forces and the public will daily focus more and more on those goings on. The heads of communities–boroughs–and cities are officials who are immediately associated with the issues of concern to the population–and their personal and managerial characteristics have important consequences.
Frequently we have witnessed that the situations of adjacent villages that otherwise exist under shared conditions are nevertheless fundamentally different. There–where the community head is sincere–active–and concerned–numerous problems have been resolved. There–where the village head is irresponsible and idle–there is disorder and chaos.
Accordingly–our common goal should be to ensure that the elections are orderly and organized–of course–without excessively politicizing the issue. For the ARF–the decentralization of state power and the complete establishment of local self-government are the correct way to extricate the country from the current situation.
We anticipate and hope that on October 20 our people will make the right choices.
We would also like to discuss another matter. Yes–the election process has begun. The electoral commissions of electoral districts have been formed–as will–soon–the local commissions. It is already noticeable–however–that various governors and officials of various caliber are attempting to gain control over those electoral commissions.
We remind all: The electoral commissions are intended to ensure the orderly conduct of the elections; they are not intended to be in the service of this or that individual or power.
We inform all: Do not interfere in the independent functioning of the commissions. We caution all: The prerequisite for placing our country on the path to development is the holding of free and fair elections.