The President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio acknowledges and supports the peaceful manner in which the Armenian people is carrying out change, he said in a statement issued after the discussions between the Venice Commission and the First Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia at the 116th session of the Venice Commission.
The statement issued by the President reads:
“Following the discussions between the Venice Commission and the First Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia at the 116th session of the Venice Commission
Acknowledges and supports the peaceful manner in which the Armenian people is carrying out change;
Acknowledges the specific situation in Armenia, which requires the holding of early elections;
Welcomes the commitment of the Armenian authorities to abide by international standards when revising the Electoral Code;
Notes that the proposed amendments pursue legitimate aims and seem mostly positive;
Welcomes in particular all steps taken to facilitate the exercise of the right to vote, to extend access to media, the rights of observers and more generally the transparency of the electoral process, as well as to struggle against electoral fraud;
Welcomes the abolition of restrictions on the number of participants in coalitions to be formed after the first round, in conformity with a key recommendation of the Venice Commission and ODIHR;
Welcomes the implementation of other recommendations of the Venice Commission and ODIHR, concerning in particular:
— The reduction of the electoral thresholds and thresholds applied for returning electoral deposits; the reduction of the amount of deposits;
— The reduction of deadlines for the accreditation of observers and media representatives, as well as the suppression of obstacles to the work of observers, such as the possibility to limit their number;
— Guarantees to ensure free vote by the military.
Recalls the reservations of the Venice Commission with respect to major changes in the electoral system, such as the abolition of district lists, within the year preceding the elections;
Notes that these reservations are less relevant if there is consensus among political forces about the change.”