Statement on Presidential elections, 18 February 2013, Republic of Armenia

21 февраля 2013 г.

The elections were characterised by a lack of political competition, low-key campaigning and a relatively low presence of partisan election observers in precincts on election-day. This has to be explained with the decision of the three main opposition parties not to nominate their candidates for the Presidential elections and consequently not to deploy their proxies to the election precincts.

Election day was characterised by a committed election administration, which aimed at ensuring a calm voting process. However, during election day civic election observers reported on ballot stuffing, multiple voting and intimidation of voters through proxies of one of the candidates, which raises concern on the fairness of the electoral process. Some of those election precincts where civic election observers monitored the voting process showed a significant lower voter turnout (up to 25%) than neighbouring election precincts – often in the same building -where no observers were present. The precincts with inflated voter turnout showed higher voting results for the incumbent Serge Sargsyan than for his competitor Raffi Hovhannisyan. These observations give ground to suppose that both the voter turnout and voting results have been subject to manipulation on election day.

The new election code provides in general an adequate framework for the conduct of transparent and democratic election and includes wide competences for the conduct of civic election observation. Civic election observation in Armenia deserves special attention by Armenian and international institutions. Legal provisions for civic election observation should be further improved and methodological support be reinforced in order to further develop civic control over electoral processes in the country and to increase public trust in national and international democratic institutions.

Full report is available here .