Caucasus Elections Watch has interviewed Evgeni Kirilov MEP, Rapporteur of the European Parliament on developing a strategy for the South Caucasus and asked him for his views on the current election trends in the South Caucasus.
CEW: This month we have seen the start of an election cycle in the South Caucasus, with important elections in all the three countries scheduled over the next two years. What are the expectations of the European Parliament from this process?
E. Kirilov: The European Parliament has always followed very closely the democratisation processes in all the three South Caucasus countries. A special focus is given particularly on the electoral process as a corner-stone of any functioning democratic system. Therefore the European Parliament expects from its three partners in the region to continue with the democratic reforms and to ensure that the forthcoming important elections in the next three years will respond to the European standards and will be free, fair and transparent. More…
The voters list has once more emerged as one of the main problems connected with Armenian elections. Opposition activists accuse the Armenian government of artificially inflating the voter’s list by several hundred thousand voters as part of organised election fraud. The issue is somewhat more complicated, but many questions remain.
On 25 April 2012 the Armenian Passports and Visas Department (PVD) of the Armenian Police, the entity that is responsible to compile the country’s election list, published the names of those entitled to vote in the May 6 elections. The list had 2,482,238 names. After some adjustments in the days prior to the elections, the final election list on the eve of the election included 2,484,003 names.
This figure immediately triggered an outcry from opposition parties who questioned how there could be in 2012 more than 150,000 additional voters in Armenia then in 2008, when it was common knowledge that the population of the country had decreased as a result of outward migration during the recent economic crisis. More…
Over the next eighteen months the three countries of the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, will conduct important elections that many consider will determine the future of the individual countries and of the region, and most certainly will decisively impact their relations with Europe.
The cycle kicked off on May 6th with Parliamentary Elections in Armenia. Parliamentary elections in Georgia are scheduled for October. Next year will see the three countries voting in Presidential elections.
The region has a history of troubled and contested elections, and whilst some polls have been better than others, many observers feel that there has not been a single election, since the three countries regained their independence after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, that fully met international standards. This situation continuously raises questions of legitimacy around the three governments, and has been a matter of concern to European Union and US officials, who are keen to increase relations with the region and see this situation as a major obstacle. More…
The opposition Armenian National Congress, an alliance of opposition political parties and groups headed by former Armenian President Levon ter-Petrossyan, has petitioned the Armenian Constitutional court asking that the results of the 6 May elections according to the proportional system be annulled because of election irregularities. Earlier several ANC candidates had also addressed the court with similar appeals for cancelling the results of the elections in a number of single seat majoritarian elections. The President of the Constitutional Court has asked judges to review the cases, according to a court spokesperson.
On May 15, the European Union issued its annual package assessing its relations with its neighbouring countries in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The package was introduced to journalists by High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security, Catherine Ashton and by Enlargement and ENP Commissioner Stefan Fule.
In the documents, the EU sends a clear and unequivocal message to the three South Caucasus countries to make improvements on a number of issues related to elections and the broader aspects of democracy and human rights. Whilst recognising that some progress has been made, particularly in Armenia and Georgia the reports highlight serious shortcomings in all three countries. More…
Armenian Parliamentary Elections
6 May 2012 – Results
Number of voters: 1,573,053
Number of voters on the voting list (including those registered on polling day): 2,523,101
Percentage of voter turnout: 62.26%
Number of blank or invalid votes: 53,831
Results (Proportional Lists Elections) :
Republican Party: 664,440 (44.02%)
Prosperous Armenia: 454,673 (30.12%)
ANC: 106,903 (7.08%)
ARF: 85,550 (5.67%)
Rule of Law: 83,123 (5.51%)
Heritage: 86,998 (5.76%)
Armenian Communist Party: 15,899 (1.5%)
Democratic Party of Armenia: 5,577 (0.37%)
United Armenians Party: 2,945 (0.20%) More…