YEREVAN—President Serzh Sarkisian on Thursday issued a decree setting May 6 as the date for Armenia’s parliamentary elections, according to the presidential Web site. Campaigning for the elections will officially begin at the end of March.
This decision comes days before a scheduled vote on February 28 on drastic reforms to Armenia’s election code.
The Committee on Legal Affairs of the Armenian Parliament last week agreed to discuss a proposal introduced by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the Heritage party that calls for drastic reforms to Armenia electoral code whereby parliamentary elections would be held on a 100-percent proportional representation.
Under the current electoral code, 90 of the 131 members of parliament are elected on the proportional system, while the remaining 41 members are elected on the single-mandate. The opposition, in its joint announcement in December, said that the single mandate systems opens the door for broad election violations and asserted that a 100-percent proportional system would minimize voter harassment and vote rigging.
The measure was rejected by the majority in the Parliament earlier this month, yet Prosperous Armenia, a member of the ruling coalition, expressed its approval through an official filing in parliament.
Results of the hearings are to culminate in a vote on February 28, announced Republican Party of Armenia member Davit Harutyunyan last week, who chairs the committee which organized the hearings. However, he asserted that his party would oppose the measure.
“Here we have a ‘full consensus minus one’ state in the political arena, which is created by the ruling Republican Party,” stated ARF Supreme Council of Armenia representative and chairman of the Parliament’s committee on foreign relations, Armen Rustamian from the National Assembly dais last week.