The National Assembly approved on Wednesday major amendments to Armenia’s new Electoral Code that stem from a compromise agreement reached by the government and the parliamentary opposition earlier this month. Government officials again made clear, however, that the amendments regulating the conduct of next year’s parliamentary elections will be annulled unless foreign donors pay for the purchase of special equipment needed for their implementation.
One of the most significant amendments call for the introduction of a biometric registry of voters to prevent multiple voting by government loyalists. This would be done through electronic machines that check voters’ identity through new, plastic ID cards containing their fingerprints.
The government agreed to also give opposition parties, non-partisan observers and media greater access to the lists of voters who will have cast ballots in the elections. The lists would be released by the same machines.