YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The decision of the Siunik Regional Election Commission (REC) on rescheduling municipal elections in the town of Goris is unconstitutional and if those responsible will not be punished–similar cases may recur during local elections planned for this fall. Hamlet Mkrtchian–told a press conference Tuesday.
Siunik REC reported that the delay was caused by the lack of financing–yet Mkrtchian believes that the delay was planned. He said the current rating of the incumbent mayor and candidate Ara Dolunts–supported by the authorities of Goris and the ruling "Unity" bloc–is very low and they would have certainly lost if the elections had been held on July 25 instead of the new date of August 8.
Hamlet Mkrtchian’s campaign headquarters filed a suit to the Siunik regional court against the regional REC–however the case was not heard because justice Misha Asatrian was ill. It is not known when the case will be considered.
On July 21–Hamlet Mkrtchian and another candidate Yasha Khachian addressed a letter to the president about the alarming atmosphere around the elections in the region. On August 3–Hamlet Mkrtchian’s campaign headquarters sent a letter of similar contents to the prime minister and the CEC chairman. Yasha Khachian–one of the founders of the People’s Party of Armenia–was expelled from the party after he nominated himself to run against Ara Dolunts.