Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

“It’s Your Choice” NGO’s PRELIMINARY STATEMENT on observation mission of the February 19, 2008, presidential election in Armenia

February 25, 2008

The observers of the It’s Your Choice (IYC), a non-governmental domestic election monitoring organization, monitored the February 19 presidential election in all 1923 polling stations of Armenia.

A day prior to the voting day the IYC monitored the sessions of electoral commissions and other relevant procedures held that day.

On the Election Day the IYC monitored the activities of electoral commissions, legality of voting and ballot counting, environment inside and outside polling stations, and expression of the voters’ free will.

As a result of the observation of the presidential election of 2008, the It’s Your Choice observed some tension and incidents which occurred during the voting process. According to our estimation, the tension was stimulated by the environment of intolerance dominating the entire official campaign period as well as impermissible methods of electoral campaigning irrespective of the principles of democratic elections, which were also emphasized in the IYC pre-election report.

Read the rest here.

We bury honored Mr. DOLLAR

November 23, 2007

1USD = 305AMD

Тhe coinage was drastically debased especially yesterday. Apart from some well-known reasons for such a dramatic exchange rate, which are the upcoming elections for allegedly putting higher numbers in the budget, and some people’s desires to accumulate more money, don’t know whether it may have some connection with yesterday’s All Armenian Fund raising Telethon during which they managed to gather $15,276000. If given that the previous day the exchange rate was 311AMD the difference with today’s rate should worry some people, especially when it is predicted to debase up to 250AMD as far as New Year celebration and feasting is not far anymore, and willy-nilly people will have to change their dollars sent from abroad.

Thus, dear compatriots, let’s lament the loss of our dear dollar, it was a good cheap fellow!!!

Some things…

November 20, 2007

I have a bit free time, so decided to post something, though don’t know what to talk about. At the moment everyone and everything is engaged in politics and elections, and I bet mostl of them are fed up with it from the moment they start thinking about it. I belong to that group as well.

Yesterday our entire block didn’t have electricity and everything was dark around. My brother kind of kiddingly said: “Hehe… I see Levon is back”. Now everyone are intrigued by the ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s return into the political arena and his efforts to become President of the Republic of Armenia once more. Years of his presidency are remembered by people as “dark years”, to which I referred in this blog long before his “Second Advent”. However, whatever happens and whoever wins the upcoming presidential elections, “dark years” will always serve as metonymy to Mr. Ter-Petrosyan.

On a different note, finally I grew my hair long enough to cut it equally in a line, so that they be of one length. Actually I managed to withstand everyone’s’ persuasions to cut my hair into layers and dye it, something that is done by almost all young girls, whereas I don’t like artificially looking hair. I always wonder why right after finishing schools young girls hurry to look older through dying their hair, making up as much as possible preferring an artificial look, or jumping into high heels for “visiting” the universities they will study at. (more…)

It’s Your Choice Final Report

July 26, 2007

Final report on results of “It’s Your Choice” NGO’s observation mission of the May 12, 2007 National Assembly elections in Armenia.

Monitors of IYC have carried long-term and short-term observation of 12 May 2007 Armenian parliamentary elections at all territorial commissions.

IYC’s observation of the official campaign has shown that unlike the 2003 presidential and parliamentary elections and 2005 constitutional referendum, the 2007 parliamentary elections have, to some extent been taking place in a relatively peaceful and balanced environment. Certain positive motives recorded by IYC, however, did not exclude certain serious violations and shortcomings of the official campaign, voting and vote counting processes, particularly outside polling stations. See more (MsWord doc)

Long-expected Elections in the Past

May 13, 2007

And though in some previous post I said that I wouldn’t observe this May 12 parliamentary elections because of my exams two days after it, ultimately the situation was so that firstly I had finished getting prepared for the first exam, and secondly I was needed at some polling stations.

So I got down to monitoring again.

I visited several polling stations and managed to get to one of them before closing and observe the vote tabulation. Well, the overall impression: first of all at the polling station where I was to vote, I had to wait for several minutes for my turn, because it was full of people and more people were coming yet and I can say that same was with other polling stations where I made short visits.

At 6 o’clock I went to the precinct where I was to stay after closing. It turned out that 10 minutes before my arrival the electricity of the polling station as well as the neighboring blocks went off, and it was gloomy indeed in the small room with two windows and small penetration of the sunlight. When once during a training I mentioned about torches which the observers should carry with them, someone said that we are not in 90s anymore and such incidents with electricity do not happen anymore. But it turned out that they do happen. Well, I already alarmed that someone brought a torch, as it was close to the closing hour, but soon at 7:30pm, after several calls by proxies and commission members, it was restored.

Here I should notice, and this is my personal point of view and not necesserily that of It’s Your Choice NGO, that despite the fact that most of the population and the opposition were tearing their throats by screaming that elections were falsified already, I observed rather calm and well organized elections. Of course, we heard about some cases of bickering and irregularities, but however, they couldn’t influence the outcome of elections. In fact, people were coming, being transported by buses or just walking on foot, and I know how representatives of the parties were knocking at the doors asking to go and vote.

There were 1832 voters on the voting list. By the accounts of all the 6 proxies from different parties – Republican, Orinats, Prosperous Armenia, Democratic Path, People’s party – 900 people had cast their vote before closing. The commission determined the number of voters to be 912, but the proxies didn’t argue, because usually that is an insignificant difference, if considered that proxies could miss a person, and especially when they were asking each other if they had to leave the polling station for some 5 minutes or so. (more…)

Mysterous facts and numbers

May 7, 2007

It was a calm evening and my little brother and I decided to watch a film on DVD. Sitting on the armchairs we were enjoying the film when a boom was heard in the distance, which was followed by a flicker of a firework right in front of our window, and we didn’t even have to raise to see it. so unexpected it was.

Me: What is it?
Bro: Bargavach Hayastan’s rally, it was giving a concert.
Me: Uh, right, I forgot.
(The firework seemed to last long, more than 5 minutes or so)
Me: It’s long…
Bro: Yes, and how much money they waste on it!!! Thousands of dollars!!!…

His surprise was my surprise. He is 14, and yet realizes the amount of money being spent on such events. Don’t know whether he also meant all the rallies and concerts held by parties in other communities as well, but if he really did, I’d cry out instead…Thousands of dollars!!! Do the campaign finances include that sum??!! (more…)

If anyone is ever interested why I don’t blog…

April 17, 2007

Yep, I’m not happy with it, of course, but… I have to busy myself with my forthcoming state exams.Well, it’s rather that they are busing me with themselves. Whatsever. Can’t think of anything else but my spot questions and how I’m going to pass my exams. I guess I mentioned it in some previous post, rather I’m doing it all the time.

I really lament the fact that unfortunately this period coincides with parliamentary elections and I could do so much regarding it, but I already gave up doing anything and am even thinking of not observing the forthcoming elections with IYC, well, if I’m lucky and everything goes well by that time, I might observe for the half of the day, at least something. My first exam is on May 15 and I wouldn’t really like to turn up half prepared or exhausted. But to tell the truth, I am already tired, tired of worrying, though I guess I shouldn’t… just keep calm…

Anyways, some time ago wanted to write about the workshop Civil Society Institute held in Tsaghadzor in participance with several NGO’s and political parties, who were to represent their activities, and young people from several regions. I represented It’s Your Choice, talked about it’s activities, programs, plans and so on. Tthough most of the youth gathered there seemed rather apathetic in being involved in anything, instead, being interested in playing games more than anything… albeit it was well organized.

Interesting it was, when during my presentation a girl, who represented a youth ngo and who incidentally appeared to be a member of CEC, in front of everyone argued with me that the lists with names are being hang in polling stations 29 days before elections, opposing to my statment that they are hang 40 days before elections. She insisted on her point saying that who would hang the lists if the commission is not made up yet, proving once more her ignorance of the Electoral Code, as far as the precinct commission has nothing to do with hanging the lists, it being the responsibility of the department of passports of each community and the heads of the structures, buildings turned into polling stations.

(more…)

City in posters

April 8, 2007

And though early in the morning I got up from an sms wishing me happy Easter, the first thing I striking me soon after it when I looked through the window was Dashnaktsutyun Party’s poster stuck on the opposite wall of my building. “Wow, Sunday, early in the morning, literary first hours of the official period and they have already managed to go about the blocks with posters or someone in our block is apparently Dashnak” was my first thought.

Later on when I left home I saw two other posters attached on the building. My doubts about someone in my neighborhood being dashnak were eliminated when on the way to Gavar I witnessed other posters put up on the majority of Yerevan buildings. Quite thumping was the scene in the center of Gavar, where apart from the posters stuck on almost all the buildings, a huge white ball with Dashnaktsutyun sign was hang in the middle of an intersection, and it kind of reminded me of the “yes-vote” used in GB.

Therefore contrasting it was not to see a single poster by Prosperous Armenia Party in Gavar, despite the huge posters which appeared in Yerevan long before the start of the official campaign. Though, unlike the latter and the Republican Party, Dashnaks at least waited for the start of the official campaign and took to actions without wasting a single minute and probably spending the whole night putting up those posters all over the way.
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CRD/TI Armenia Election Monitor 2007

March 1, 2007

I’m late with writing this announcement, but in any case, at least now I’d like to drive your attention to Center for Regional Development /Transparency International Armenia Election Monitor 2007 blog. As most of you may already know, this blog will concentrate on all the possible and important news regarding Parliamentary Elections in May. This is to serve an insight into the attempt of democratization.

In partnership with It’s Your Choice, CRD/TI Armenia blog will provide news, interviews, observations and opinions about the upcoming Elections. If you have anything to add, you can have your say, thus helping the elections be as transparent as it has never been.

If you are an ethnic Armenian in Diaspora and you want to be part of the Elections, you can become an election observer and have the fair view of these elections by your own, as CRD/TI blog calls you to take actions.

As Barekendan would say – Let’s wake up and be active!

CRD/TI Armenia blog in English.
CRD/TI Armenia blog in Armenian.

Parading Barekendan

February 18, 2007

A group of youngsters with funny appearances, masks and painted faces walking down the streets, blowing whistles all over the way and making joyous and elated sounds and crying out – “Զարթնեք… Wake up!!».

Via http://barekendan.tripod.com/ we learn:

Barekendan is an old Armenian traditional festival that we are seeking to revive as a form of civil action by calling upon the citizens to “wake up” and become involved in social processes in Armenia. […]it is an occasion in which people are urged not to be passive and instead alert. As Lent begins the day after Barekendan, it is the final call for people to be uninhibited in their actions prior to the start of a period of fasting.

[…] Seeing as how the Parliamentary elections of 2007 are critical for the democratization processes in Armenia, Barekendan serves as an ideal occasion for the civil society activists to call upon their fellow dormant citizens to “wake up” and become involved. We are seeking to accomplish this goal by organizing a parade and day of festivities on February 18, 2007. On this day, we plan on dressing in costumes, offering face painting, passing out sweets and candies among other treats.

And while people gathered there were mainly those young society activists who you always see at any such occasion, the same message of wakening up the people in a sense was lost in the same whistlings, because when people’s first reaction is “Արա…է՞ս ովքեր են”, “who are these?” or “Երեխեքը ուրախանում են”, “Kids are making fun” supposes itself that from aside people do not think that you call upon them to become active and involved. Of course this will mainly come from the ‘men in black’ aka ‘rabiz’ representatives of the society for who these ‘kids’ seem funny in general.

(more…)