Armenia: Election Official Vows Transparency in Upcoming Polls | Asbarez Armenian News

Armenia’s next parliamentary and presidential elections will be “unprecedented” in terms of their transparency, Garegin Azarian, the chairman of the Central Election Commission, said on Tuesday. Azarian said the integrity of the electoral process in the country will improve markedly already during the parliamentary race scheduled for next spring.

“The openness of these elections will be unprecedented compared with previous elections,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service in an interview. Azarian based his stated optimism on fresh amendments to the Electoral Code that were enacted by the Armenian authorities in May. He singled out a new provision that requires the CEC to publicize every hour data on voter turnout from all of Armenia’s 2,000 or so polling stations.

Armenia: Chief Armenian Election Official Hopes To Stay On |

A senior official who administered Armenia’s last national elections acknowledged on Monday that he would like to head the new Central Election Commission (CEC) which will be appointed by President Serzh Sarkisian soon. Garegin Azarian expressed such hope after presiding over the last meeting of the outgoing CEC. The 8-member body conducted the February 2008 presidential election which was marred by opposition allegations of vote rigging and followed by deadly street unrest in Yerevan.

The CEC will be disbanded in accordance with a package of amendments to the Armenian Electoral Code that were enacted  by the authorities in May.The most important of those amendments relates to the formation of various-level commissions holding national and local elections. Until now, the president of the republic, a high court and the political forces represented in the Armenian parliament have each appointed one member of those commissions.