Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum
On Numerous Violations Recorded During the December 6, 2015 Referendum on Amendments to the RA Constitution
December 9, 2015
We, the representatives of the Armenian National Platform (ANP) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, express our deep concern regarding numerous violations recorded during the preparation, the conduct and the vote counting of the December 6 Referendum on Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (RA).
We stress, that the authorities resorted to all possible leverages of influencing the outcome of the voting – use of administrative resources, vote buying, instruction of voters, pressure and violence exerted against opposition members of electoral commissions, proxies, observers and journalists, ballot box stuffing, voting for absent and dead citizens, as well as multiple voting by the same citizens, stealing of ballot boxes and voter registers, etc.
In those polling stations, where the observers, proxies and commission members from opposition forces managed to prevent the electoral violations, the turnout did not exceed 30-35%. This clearly manifests that the turnout recorded by the Central Electoral Committee (CEC) is a result of electoral fraud.
It should be noted that the work of many ANP members engaged on the voting day in polling stations as observers, journalists, proxies or commission members was obstructed by the authorities’ representatives of electoral commissions and local mobsters. Hrayr Manukyan, an ANP member and delegate to the EaP CSF Kyiv Annual Assembly was subjected to physical violence. All this took place in the presence of law enforcement agencies and with their complete inaction.
Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum declares that the process of Referendum on Amendments to the RA Constitution did not comply with democratic principles and the registered results cannot reflect the free will of the citizens of the Republic of Armenia.
We assert that electoral fraud significantly affected the results registered by CEC.
We demand that:
- the Central Electoral Committee nullifies the results of the December 6 Referendum;
- the Republic of Armenia law enforcement agencies bring to justice the organizers and direct perpetrators of the massive electoral fraud;
- the European Union institutions incorporate the fulfillment of the above-mentioned demands in the list of preconditions for the negotiations over the framework agreement launched on December 7.
EaP CSF Armenian National Platform
December 9, 2015
Speaking at the launch of the negotiations, Mogherini said: “Our shared common values and strong commitment to democracy, human rights, rule of law will be at the basis of the new agreement,” adding that it would “create favourable conditions for stronger cooperation in sectors such as energy, transport, and environment.”
The future agreement should:
- offer a comprehensive framework covering political, economic and sectoral cooperation,
- strengthen cooperation in areas such as energy, transport and environment sectors,
- develop new opportunities for both sides’ trade and investment,
- increase mobility to the benefit of citizens, both in the EU and in Armenia.
The future Agreement will replace the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (1999) and reset EU-Armenia relations within the wider framework of the recently-reviewed European Neighbourhood Policy and of the Eastern Partnership. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
The EU has announced its first ever comprehensive Human Rights Defenders Mechanism, an initiative set to become one of Europe’s key tools to assist human rights defenders at high risk, including in remote areas.
The mechanism counts on a budget of €15 million of EU funds until 2018. This is in addition to the continuous support to Human Rights Defenders already provided by the EU, including under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human rights (EIDHR). Since 2007, the EIDHR has allocated €200 million to Human Rights Defenders worldwide.
Through the new mechanism, the EU will provide human rights supporters at risk with:
- Short-term support, including physical protection, legal and medical support, trial and prison monitoring, and urgent advocacy and relocation;
- Medium-term support, including monitoring of their situation, early warning of risks, training on risk prevention and security (including digital security), and international, regional and national advocacy.
- Long-term support including support to national networks, advocacy, lobbying and development of strategies to counter restrictions and sanctions imposed on human rights defenders by states. (EU Neighbourhood Info)