On April 23, “Union of Informed Citizens” NGO organized a discussion on the topic “Discussion of the New Electoral Code and Presentation of Positions” with the support of “Open Society Foundations – Armenia”.
Referring to the electoral mechanism, Minister – Chief of Staff of the RA Government Davit Harutyunyan explained in detail how the voting process will take place and whether it is possible to check by the electronic system if the names of citizens are repeated or not. According to Harutyunyan, the proposed technical device eliminates the human factor, as well as takes fingerprints.
Mr. Harutyunyan also noted that currently the political parties do not possess an adequate culture of cooperation.
Programs Coordinator at “Union of Informed Citizens” NGO Daniel Ioannisyan noted that the election results in those polling stations that are not controlled by observes and the media show a considerably more different picture than that of other polling stations. In Mr. Ioannisyan’s words, the elections are reportedly rigged exactly in such polling stations.
Referring to live broadcasting, Davit Harutyunyan noted that he is opposed to that idea as live broadcasting may be disrupted. Instead, he proposed to conduct video recording, setting surveillance cameras in the polling stations.
Referring to the responsibility of the state, Executive Director at “Open Society Foundations – Armenia” Larisa Minasyan noted that the Government does not feel obliged to conduct free and fair elections, and considers it the problem of the opposition or the observers.
National Assembly Deputy Hovhannes Margaryan, referring to the ranked-choice voting, explained what the legislative body represents according to the amendments of the Electoral Code. Mr. Margaryan asked Mr. Harutyunyan how the latter would feel if he ran in the elections by the majority system and lost to a person who does not know what the legislative body means.
“Frankly, 50-50 proportionality is the extreme that is present in all the countries”, Davit Harutyunyan answered, adding that their proposal is 100% proportional representation system and not a hybrid model. Mr. Harutyunyan also promised to provide documents to Mr. Margaryan regarding the 100% proportional representation system.