Council of Europe concerned about irregularities in election campaign in Yerevan
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 29 / Trend , E. Ostapenko/
The mission of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is concerned about law observance in the election campaign for the municipal elections in Yerevan scheduled for late May, the Council of Europe press release said.
After several meetings with government officials, election candidates and the media, the mission of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe to observe the municipal elections in Yerevan (Armenia), scheduled for 31 May, has expressed deep concern over various, repeated reports of irregularities, and in particular intimidation tactics during the election campaign.
The delegation has accordingly requested, on 29 May, a further meeting with Armen Gevorgyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Territorial Development, and Garegin Azaryan, Chair of the Central Electoral Commission, to scrutinize the situation and the lawfulness of the electoral procedures.
The pre-election mission of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in connection with the first municipal elections in Yerevan to take place on May 31 lasted from May 3 to May 6. The delegation included Congress Vice President Fabio Pellegrini (Italy), Michel Guegan (France) and Nigel Mermagen (the United Kingdom).
A distinctive feature of the upcoming mayor's elections in Yerevan is that it is the first in the modern history of Armenia, which will be held solely under party lists. Earlier, the mayor of Armenia's capital city was appointed by the government, but after adopting a new Law on Yerevan, city council of parliamentarians which existed in the early 1990's was restored. The council will elect a mayor.
The final results of voting will be announced on 7 June and the next day. The first meeting of city council members will be held on June 8 which will elect mayor of the capital. Under the new law, the mayor of the city automatically becomes the first in the list of parties or bloc which wins 40 percent of the votes plus one vote. If none of the political forces reach such a large number of votes, candidates will be nominated at the council meetings and then a vote will follow.
Four parties involved in the ruling coalition are taking part in the elections on the proportional list. These parties include Prosperous Armenia, Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armenian Republican Party and Country of Rule. Opposition Armenian National Congress, which brings together 18 parties and Popular and the Socialist Labor Party will also be participating. The campaign which began on May 2 will run until May 29.
Congress of the Council of Europe is the only international organization to monitor municipal elections in Armenia.
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