Free Democrats: Unite to stop election fraud

Free Democrats: Unite to stop election fraud


Khachatur Kokobelyan

Head of the board of the opposition Free Democrats Party Khachatur Kokobelyan today urged all opposition parties to unite against possible fraud in the May 6 parliamentary elections.

In a discussion at the Union of Political Scientists of Armenia, Kokobelyan said election fraud is in the public awareness before and after elections, but is not controlled during elections.

“The reason is the lack of control resource. If the opposition forces manage to have five-ten proxies in each polling station, believe me, it will change the outcome of the elections completely,” Kokobelyan says.

Politlogos club of the Union of Political Scientists of Armenia every week organizes political-analytical hearings dedicated to the issues related to public control over pre-elections, election, post-election developments. Hmayak Hovhannisyan, head of the Union of Political Scientists of Armenia, says that all the opposition forces which expect to enter the future parliament, will participate in their final plenary discussion, trying to reach an agreement over the issues related to organizing and controlling the elections.

“If we manage to create collaboration bridges among those forces, then for the first time in the history of newly-independent Armenia, the opposition forces will make a united front during the elections,” Hovhannisyan says.

Speaking about election fraud, Kokobelyan said that the authorities did not show a political will for the passage to the 100-percent proportional system of parliamentary representation, because election fraud is more easily perpetrated during a majoritarian system of parliamentary elections.

According to Kokobelyan, these elections “give start” to a new period, which will have a direct influence upon the Presidential elections, therefore, Kokobelyan supposes that the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) must be interested in holding fairly contested elections.

“However, it does not mean that they [RPA] must do it. They must reconsider before chosing to apply election fraud,” he says.

The Free Democrats Party was founded in 2011 by Kokobelyan, former deputy chairman of the Armenian National Movement (ANM) Board. A group of political figures who have either left or are currently leaving ANM, including former chairman of ANM Board Ararat Zurabyan became members of Free Democrats Party.