EVN Report will be updating this page throughout Election Day. You can follow the progress and process of the vote across Armenia.
8:00 a.m. Polls across the country open.
The new electoral system is complex with a minimum of 101 MPs elected through a two-tier proportional system that includes national and district candidates. An additional four seats are reserved for national minorities. With a view to ensuring a stable parliamentary majority, the winning list may be assigned additional seats. If a stable majority is not formed as a result of the elections or by subsequently building a political coalition, a second round will be held between the two top candidate lists in 28 days.
The Central Election Commission (CEC), 38 Territorial Election Commissions, and some 2,000 Precinct Election Commissions will administer the elections.
There are 2,564,195 registered voters in the Republic of Armenia.
9:00 a.m. Early reports by several observers of overcrowding in many precincts. Cameras in the precincts not working properly or have been incorrectly installed. You can try and follow the live feed via this link.
9:40 a.m. Transparency International’s Citizen Observer program has 42 call operators and 20 lawyers verifying data being provided via their observers throughout the country. You can see their live map by following this link.
9:55 a.m. Hoa-Binh Adjemian, Head of Cooperation Section, EU Delegation to Armenia just tweeted that although cameras in precincts are not live streaming due to technical reasons, they are recording and will be accessible.
10:00 a.m. Observers noting that new voting procedures are making the work of monitors difficult.
There are reports from Lori marz that the new voting machines are not working properly in about 10 precincts. In this case, members of the Commission must revert to paper-based voting.
The law does not allow for more that 15 voters to be at the polling station at the same time, a provision that is often neglected during elections in Armenia.
Children accompanying their parents in this most important election.
10:25 a.m. Observers are noting that voters are walking out of precincts with extra ballots. Under this new electoral procedure, each voter receives nine ballots (one for each political party or bloc), they choose the ballot of the party or bloc they want to vote for, then also vote for their preferred candidate on the district electoral list, place it in an envelope to drop in the ballot box. The remaining ballots must be thrown out in bins provided at the precincts.
Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan voting in the parliamentary election.
10:37 a.m. Violations are already being recorded across dozens of precincts according to Citizen Observer.
10:45 a.m. Some observers noting that unknown individuals are hanging around the precincts, observing voters as they enter and vote. Citizen observer has already registered over 150 violations across the country, including denying journalists and observers their rights, violation of the secrecy of the vote, technical issues with the new machinery.
The link to their site.
Armenian Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan, who is heading the Republican Party of Armenia list casts his vote.
11:00 a.m. According to Hetq, in precinct no. 14, the head of the District Electoral Commission is obstructing the work of reporters and party proxies.
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan casts his ballot.
11:00 a.m. The new equipment to register voters initially did not recognize Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s fingerprint. After a few minutes it was resolved.
Gagik Tsarukyan of Prosperous Armenia and of the Tsarukyan bloc casts his vote.
Vartan Oskanian, leader of the Unity Party which is part of the ORO Bloc casts his vote.
11:45 a.m. Former President Robert Kocharyan will not be taking part in the parliamentary elections according to his spokesperson Victor Soghomonyan.
12:30 p.m. According to preliminary reports, as of 11:00 a.m.already 13 percent of eligible voters have taken part in the elections.
1:30 p.m. Reporter from Azatutyun, Sisak Gabrielyan attacked in Kond after witnessing voters entering the RPA campaign office and leaving with money.
1:50 p.m. General Prosecutor’s office as of 1:00 p.m. today has received 729 reports of violations of which 75 contain instances of criminal activity.
Armen Rustamyan, MP and number one on the ARF party list casts his ballot.
Citizen Observer reports number of violations as of noon today.
2:30 p.m. According to Transparency International Citizen Observer, from 8:00 – 12:00 noon a total of 681 violations have been registered.
2:40 p.m. Observer Edmon Voskanyan from Independent Observer tried to stop voting violations taking place in Vanadzor’s 21/28 electoral precinct. District Electoral Commission members and several proxies physically forced him out of the precinct
Khachatur Kokobelyan, leader of the Free Democrats Party casts his ballot.
3:00 p.m. The Central Electoral Commission of Armenia is giving a live press conference about the voting so far. They reported that 33.5 percent or 865,884 eligible voters have already cast their votes.
3:15 p.m. Earlier in the day, Daniel Iioannisyan of the Union of Informed Citizens had given an interview to Azatutyun where he had said that a number of police officers were voting with temporary ballots in precinct no. 5/2 in the Yerevan suburb of Davtashen. EVN Report contacted Ioannisyan to confirm. He said that Artur Gevorgyan, the son-in-law of Yerevan’s Chief of Police is a candidate in that particular precinct and for this reason, this particular move by a number of police officers is highly suspicious.
A journalist from Ararat News was attacked by people who had been entering the campaign headquarters of a Hakob Beglaryan, a member of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia. The reporter wanted to know why these people were entering the headquarters, but was physically attacked. The video is posted above.
3:50 p.m. Sevak Hovhannisyan, a representative of the General Prosecutor’s office has issued a call to citizens to provide as much detailed information as possible when they are registering voting violations. All registered violations will thoroughly investigated. Hovhannisyan said this during a press conference.
3:55 p.m. The Twitter #armvote17 is being overrun by Russia profiles.
4:00 p.m. Hayk Marutyan, a citizen observer and a well kown actor noticed several violations of voting secrecy at polling station 9/48 (Pushkin School). There was a camera behind one of the voting booths and an open door behind the other one. According to Marutyan other observers also noticed that but the president of the polling station did not record it and did not resolve the problem.
4:15 p.m. During his press conference, Eduard Sharmazanov, the press secretary of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia stressed that the new voting system prevents previous methods of voting violations. He said that reports of violations can be divided into two categories. First are the objective ones that were taken care of by the General Prosecutor’s Office.The second category of calls (the majority, according to Sharmazanov), are subjective, and whose purpose is to cast a shadow on the elections. He said that police have investigated these reports and have not found any evidence to support the claims. Sharmazanov also gave his assesment on the attack against Azatutyun’s journalist, saying that any action against journalists work is condemnable. The case is under the investigation.
Eduard Sharmazanov during his press conference today.
Earlier it was reported that Kentron precinct 9/32 was closed by police and the district electoral commission without any explanation. EVN Report went to the polling station to find out the reasons for the closure. The observers and proxies who were interviewed, did not want to expand much on the subject and avoided giving precise answers. The proxy of the Republican Party and one of the citizen observers acknowledged a problem with a voter’s ballot receipt. Interviewees said that the closure lasted for less than 15 minutes.
5:20 p.m. According to Citizen Observer, at the moment, 1551 violations have been registered by observers deployed to electoral precincts throughout the country. Follow the violations on this link.
5:40 p.m. Tigran Khachatryan, son of Syunik Province governor Surik Khachatryan, was spotted in two different polling stations within five minutes of each other. The police officer that was informed of this told the citizen observer that the head of the district electoral commission must lodge a complaint for him to intervene, otherwise he could not do anything.
Tigran Khachatryan spotted at different polling stations.
5:45 p.m. According to the YELQ proxy at electoral precinct 8/33, the Republican Party proxy guided a citizen to vote for Republican party. The YELQ proxy demanded that the district electoral commission president report the incident. The president initially refused, but then later agreed.
6:10 p.m. Central Electoral Commission is giving a live press conference, updating the process of the vote in the country. They are reporting that 50.93 percent or 1,317,936 eligible voters have already participated in the elections as of 5:00 p.m.
6:15 p.m. Number of violations in an “unidentified” polling station in Chambarak, Tavush Region. The precinct did not have any numbers on the building. The violations include gatherings of cars and people both inside and outside the polling station, distribution of ballots, voters registration and police inactivity.
Missing numbers on the polling station sign in Chambarak.
6:20 p.m. Number of patients unable to vote at the Armenia Medical Center after the ballot box is sealed and removed from the Center at approximately 6 p.m., denying citizens of their right to vote.
Patients denied the right to vote after ballot box sealed and removed from hospital.
6:40 p.m. A secutiry camera has been covered with cloth at 06/02 polling district, in the Ajapnyak suburb of Yerean. The photo was taken by Mari Hovhannisyan at 14:21 who sent it to Hetq.
Voters send in unique photos of unique methods.
7:40 p.m. A representative of Independent Observer at polling station N 20/35 in the city of Sevan noted that an unknown person led a group of military servicemen to vote in the precinct. The observer demanded the head of the district electoral commission register this as a violation. The General Prosecutor’s Office has been informed about the case.