PARTNERSHIP IN THE NAME OF OPEN SOCIETY CALLS ON AUTHORITIES TO
RECONSIDER AMENDMENTS TO ELECTORAL CODE

YEREVAN, MAY 26, NOYAN TAPAN. The May 26 regular seminar organized by
the Partnership in the Name of Open Society initiative was dedicated
to the discussion of the bill "On Amendments and Additions to RA
Electoral Code" adopted in the second reading and completely. Vardan
Poghosian, Chairman of the Democracy NGO, declared that the main goal
of the seminar is to represent all flaws of the law, which, according
to him, is not only anti-constitutional but it doesn't suppose at all
holding of normal and fair elections. "The new bill in comparison with
the previous one is, in essence, a step back." Thus, in Vardan
Poghosian's estimation, the law adopted obviously contradicts Article
98 of the Constitution, according to which judges have no right to
take other state post. Meanwhile, the Central Electoral Commission is
a state body and membership to it is, correspondingly, a state
service. Poghosian expressed bewilderment in connection with the
bill's provisions, according to which electoral rolls in military
units aren't subject to publication. Besides, according to him, the
provision about giving qualification certificates to commission
members without norms fixed by the law, provision about withdrawing
the clause on compulsory presence of signatures of 3 commission
members on a voting-paper and others need specification. On behalf of
the Partnership in the Name of Open Society initiative Vardan
Poghosian called on country's authorities to reconsider the bill and
bring it into line with the international norms.