Notes From Hairenik
The article about the elections that I wrote for The Armenian Weekly which is published in Boston is now online. Here is a segment:

“I hope that the people in two days will say that finally there was justice served. And that also those whose candidate was not elected will conclude that the elections were fair,” said Hovhannesian to television news reporters after he cast his vote.

At few polling stations clearly legible informational posters were affixed to walls instructing people on the entire voting process. Some also had short information on all of the eligible candidates on hand to assist undecided voters. After a ballot was cast, the passport of the voter was stamped with a unique mark indicating that he or she voted. Schools mainly served as the locations for voting stations.

There were reports of beatings and bribing from across the country in the regions outside the nation’s capital. Those who were allegedly beaten were for the most part local observers at voting stations who were prepared to file complaints of vote rigging.

Bribes were purportedly being handed out by Republican party supporters in the amount of 5,000 dram (approximately $16) to people on their way to voting stations in several areas. In villages lining the plains of Ararat, such as Vosketab and Pokr Vedi, the atmosphere at polling stations was civil, but one eyewitness told of bribes being distributed to potential voters. Similar incidents were reported to have occurred in Gyumri as well as Dilijan, a resort town located in the Tavush region.

In Vanadzor, Armenia’s third largest city located in the Lori region, according to one resident some voters who were paid 5,000 dram each to vote for Sarkisian ended up casting a ballot for Ter-Petrossian.

Orinats Yerkir, having set up a hotline for reporting violations, registered several incidents of violence and bribery. The ARF-Dashnaktsutiun would not comment on any violations that may have been perceived on Election Day.

At polling stations throughout Yerevan’s Gentron and Arabkir districts there were no apparent incidents of unrest. Many polling stations were packed with voters at late morning and early afternoon. At most stations, voters were required to wait in single file outside the entrance and were allowed to enter separately to cast their ballots, while at other locations people were permitted to enter the buildings freely, attracting loiterers.

One accusation from an irate woman was made of multiple ballots being cast by a single voter at a Yerevan voting station as reported by Yerkir Media. She was shown on television to have been escorted out of the voting station after having announced her complaint to observers. Her claims were immediately dismissed by the observer and other witnesses at the scene.
You can read the article in its entirety here.

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1 Comments:
Anonymous Anonymous said...
The OSCE observers noted that in 15% of the polling stations they monitored "the situation was bad or vey bad". Just on this fact alone one can surmise how Sargsyan garnered the 40,000 votes to put him over the 50% threshhold on the first ballot. These elections must be declared null and void. It amazes me how many people use the excuse that LTP is a flawed presidential candidate to justify their indifference and apparent approval of the current band of criminals and petty dictators now running the country - Ramik

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