YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–There have been no elections in Armenia like that we had in 1999–president Robert Kocharian told journalists. He noted that nine criminal proceedings have been instituted in connection with violations during electoral process. Thirty more reports are being currently investigated–he said. Kocharian also reported that only two parliament candidates have applied to lower court so far.
Stressing that the major fault of the May 30 elections was inaccuracies in voter registers–Kocharian said that they could be foreseen–as new election law bans additional voter registers by which 150,000-200,000 voters voted in previous times. He reminded that parties voted against additional voters–since they believed that the additional lists may lead to fraud. Noting that the right to allow voters who were not put on lists to vote was simply transmitted from electoral commissions to courts–Kocharian said that none of the citizens has been deprived of the right to vote. To prove this statement–Kocharian said that 1,137,000 voters participated in the elections–whereas according to various forecasts–the maximum number of voters was supposed to have made up 1,200,000.
According to the president–five percent of inaccuracies in voter registers is normal. Given the fact that no census of population has been held in Armenia for 10 years and the internal migration "is extremely intensive" and about 600,000-700,000 people are living outside the country–this figure might have been higher. Kocharian flatly denied allegations made some political forces that leaders of communities deliberately omitted names of citizens–favoring one or another party–in voter registers. He also assured those community leaders who failed to display serious attitude toward elections will be punished. Referring to media reports–saying that the largest number of inaccuracies was registered in the "Center" community of Yerevan–the president noted that two well-known politicians–representing the most radical opposition party–the National Democratic Union–were elected to the National Assembly–whereas the Armenian National Movement did not garner a sufficient number of votes–although leader of the community is ANM’s "number two" person–vice-chairman of the ANM Board Ararat Zourabian.