By Rashid Shirinov
Almost every election in Armenia since the country gained independence back in 1991 has witnessed violations.
The widespread corruption, systemic abuse and violence against voters become more visible during the election campaign ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled for April 2, 2017.
The European Union has voiced concerns about incidents of violence during the election campaign in Jarat village of Armenia.
Head of the EU Delegation in Yerevan Piotr Switalski stated that the EU is concerned over the issue and expects an adequate response from law enforcement authorities.
“Of course, we are very concerned, because, as we have seen in other countries, violence can have a snowball effect. When you do not properly react to first cases of violence then you may have a very bad situation which is very difficult to control,” Switalski said on March 16.
Three Jrarat residents sympathetic to the ORO opposition alliance were hospitalized with serious injuries on Tuesday after being attacked by a large group of other men allegedly linked to the village mayor affiliated with the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). One of the victims was shot and wounded while another was stabbed. So far only one man has been arrested in connection with Tuesday’s incident.
Switalski added that the EU expects the Armenian authorities to hold free and fair elections, having provided them with over $7 million in financial assistance for that purpose.
The diplomat also urged Armenians not to sell their votes in elections.
“You may be approached by people who will be offering you money or services. I hope that Armenians will reject such offers. No amount of money is worth your votes. Do not sell your votes,” Switalski said.
Thus, the representative of the EU openly showed that Europe is well aware of all the outrages committed by the Armenian authorities during the pre-election campaign, know about the fair mistrust of the Armenian population to law enforcement authorities and expect election fraud in this country.