YEREVAN — Armenia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) began on Tuesday preparations for early parliamentary elections one day after they were officially scheduled for June 20.
President Armen Sarkissian set the date in a decree signed just hours after the Armenian parliament voted to dissolve itself in line with an agreement reached by its opposition minority and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
The CEC approved a timetable of measures needed to prepare for and hold the polls. In particular, it was decided that campaigning for them will officially start on June 7 and last for only 12 days.
The CEC chairman, Tigran Mukuchyan, told reporters that as was the case during the last two parliamentary elections held in 2018 and 2017 video cameras will be installed in most of the 2,000 or so polling stations across Armenia. They will film voting and ballot counting for the purpose of reducing the risk of vote irregularities.
The deadline for the submission of documents by political parties or blocs seeking to enter the parliamentary race was set for May 26. The CEC is due to complete the formation of electoral districts by that day.
“Along with the registration documents, parties and election blocs can submit applications for placing campaign posters on billboards with an area of more than 5 square meters. The deadline for submitting applications is June 5,” said the head of the CEC.
Eligible voters who are not registered in Armenia can submit applications for temporary inclusion in the voter lists for participation in the elections until June 10. Electronic voting starts on June 11 and ends on June 13.
Civil Contract and the two opposition parties represented in the current legislature have made clear that they will participate in the elections on their own.
Other opposition forces and leaders have set up at least two electoral alliances. One of them is led by former President Robert Kocharian while another comprises former President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia.