October 20, 2018 - 20:55 AMT
Venice Commission welcomes new electoral code and early elections

During Venice Commission’s 116th session, as a result of discussions between the Venice Commission and Acting First Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia, Ararat Mirzoyan, the Commission accepted the peaceful way of the Armenian nation to make changes in the country and expressed support to it, states the message of the President of the Commission, Gianni Buquicchio.

“We accept the unique situation formed in Armenia which requires organizing early elections. We welcome the initiative of the Armenian government to review the Electoral Code according to international standards”, stated in the message. It is also stated that the proposed improvements are pursuing legitimate goals and are mainly positive. Steps towards implementation of the right to vote, improvement of the rights of observers, enhancement of media accessibility and, in general, the transparency of the electoral process, as well as the fight against election fraud are widely welcomed. “We welcome the elimination of the number of coalition participants forming after the first phase of the elections, according to the key propositions of Venice Commission and ODIHR”, continued the statement.

Fulfilment of the suggestions by Venice Commission and ODIHR are welcomed in particular: reducing electoral thresholds and the thresholds of electoral pledges, reducing the time for accreditation of observers and media representatives, as well as preventing obstacles to the work of observers, such as the possibility of limiting their numbers, guaranteeing free voting of military servicemen.

The announcement also reconfirmed the approaches of the Venice Commission regarding major changes in the electoral system, including elimination of ratings, during the pre-election year.

“The importance of these approaches reduces in case there is an agreement between political forces regarding those changes”, states the message.

Earlier the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan resigned. According to his plan, the Parliament would fail to elect a new Prime Minister two weeks in raw followed by which it will be self-dissolved. After this early parliamentary elections will be organized in Armenia.