NOVEMBER 27, 2012 16:45

"The 2008 presidential election will confirm that improving the
electoral processes and conducting democratic elections in Armenia
are already a tradition," this is an excerpt from President of the
Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan's election program.

Analyzing the situation five years after that, can we claim that the
President of the Republic of Armenia kept his promise? www.aravot.am
asked a set of experts dealing with electoral processes this question.

Artur Sakunts, the manager of the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor
Office, noted during a conversation with us that Serzh Sargsyan should
have first of all assessed the 2008 presidential election, which he
didn't do. Then he went into detail: "If he promised that, and it
was in his election program, then considering the 2008 election, he
didn't keep his promise, because not only did he not take any attitude,
but he also considered it normal that he governed as a result of that
election. After that, the election for community leader took place
in Yerevan, which was a disgrace. I was in the electoral district of
Malatia-Sebastia as an observer, it was just total pressure on voters,
fraud, ballot stuffing etc. Or Nikol Pashinyan's no. 10 electoral
district in 2010, where we carried out monitoring again - there were
violations, pressure and fraud here again. It happened during Serzh
Sargsyan's presidency. Manifestations of aggressiveness, pressure,
also during the latest parliamentary election, in the electoral
district where Samvel Alexanyan was nominated and in other electoral
districts, the spread of fraud during the election campaign and on the
election day.... Although violence was not like the violence during
the election for the Yerevan council, but the problem of using the
administrative resource wasn't overcome in any election. There was an
inappropriate response to alerts of election bribes; an investigation
was not conducted."

Enumerating the above-mentioned, A. Sakunts stated: "This long
observation allows me to claim and reason that Serzh Sargsyan didn't
kept and couldn't have kept his promise, since one should first of
all have fully assessed the 2008 presidential election. Prisoners
of conscience who are free not thanks to justice, but as a result of
amendments to the amnesty law existed during his very presidency."

Harutyun Hambardzumyan, the head of the Choice is Yours NGO, stated:
"I wouldn't say that the president kept or not kept his promise by
100 percent. But it is a fact that we made progress in this election
compared to the previous one. The progress is that the flagrant
violations that took place in the past - for example, ballot stuffing,
violating the rights of observers and proxies, fights in electoral
districts - yes, they happened, but were not so wide-spread. Those
happened in the electoral districts of Malatia-Sebastia and Spitak,
but if we analyze 1960 electoral districts, they account for a small