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Armenia’s constitutional reform referendum “illegitimate”, claim local observers

4 February 2016

Two months after Armenia’s referendum to change the country’s constitution, held on December 6 2015, Armenia’s Citizen Observer Initiative (COI) and the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) have released a full report that details “gross, multiple, and widespread examples of voting violations and electoral fraud”.

The report systematically records all violations relating both to the process of the referendum, as well as the campaign, the day of voting, and how complaints were later dealt with.

In addition, the report lays out six recommendations for changes to the electoral code, due to be adopted before mid-2016, arguing for voters’ lists to be made public, for the use of administrative resources to be prohibited and expanding public oversight, among others.

The Citizen Observer Initiative is Armenia’s largest-ever effort to mobilise civil society around election observation. In total, it brought together about two dozen non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and over 1,000 individuals, who acted as observers or mass media representatives in around 520 precincts (about one quarter of the total number of precincts in the country).

The Citizen Observer Initiative was supported by the European Endowment for Democracy as well as the National Endowment for Democracy. The European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) were funded by the German Embassy in Yerevan as well as the European Union.

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