RAFFI HOVANNISIAN CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS. RECORD OF VIOLATIONS AS OF FEBRUARY 19, 2013 – 8 AM
10:15, February 19, 2013
From: Raffi Hovannisian Campaign Headquarters
To: International Election Monitors
The enclosed is a preliminary list of violations collected at Raffi
Hovannisian campaign headquarters on the day of February 18, 2013.
Together with our earlier report documenting the massive violations
occurring in the pre-election period (also enclosed), they reflect the
ultimate failure of the authorities to organize a free and transparent
presidential election in the Republic of Armenia. You will find
attached a catalogue of bribery, fraud, corruption, intimidation,
actual ballot-stuffing-a phenomenon absent in the last elections-and
severe violations across all categories. These violations are so
rampant and systematic, that they leave no doubt that Armenia has
just suffered a humiliating, scandalous election.
The Armenian people are grateful for your participation in its struggle
for freedom and democracy. We hope that you will, in these final hours,
find the fortitude to bring your mission to an honorable close and hold
Armenia to the highest possible standards of democracy and dignity.
RECORD OF VIOLATIONS
Presidential Elections, February 18, 2013
1. Verin Getashen, Gegharkunik marz. An anonymous voter witnessed
open ballot (non-secret) voting.
2. Aghbyuradzor, Vardenis. Armen Vardanyan: “Voters are being
intimidated; open voting is occurring.”
3. Saramenj, Lori region. Anonymous voter: “Voters enter the mayor’s
office, receive 5,000 AMD, and then cast their votes.”
4. Polling station 4/22. Election Commissioner Anahit Hovhanisyan:
“People are brought from Artsruni Street, where Serzh Sargsyan’s
campaign office is located, to vote.”
5. Norkyank, Shirak region. Anonymous voter: “Vote-buying is
underway. Ballots are inspected before they are cast.”
6. Polling station 10/24. Anna Hovhanisyan: “Serzh Sargsyan’s
representative is calling people, and asking them to come and vote.”
7. Polling station 4/7, public school #149. Anonymous voter: “The
bottom of the ballot box is open.”
8. Village Nazrvan. Anonymous voter: “The mayor is pressuring voters
into voting for Serzh Sargsyan.”
9. Polling station 9/1, public school #33. Campaign representative
witnessed multiple voting.
10. Polling station 8/16, Babajanyan 37/1. 10:50. Nazar Dovlatyan.
“Observers are assisting voters. The President of the Election
Commission is not responding to the complaint.”
11. Polling station 13/37. Nubarashen, public school #175. 11:00.
Anonymous voter: “The local observer is constantly intervening, checks
the registration lists, and passes on information to the outside. We
have tried to stop this to no avail.”
12. Polling station 42/46. 10:50. Sevak Dashlyan: “Four members of
my family, Hasmik, Shake, Ruben and Gohar, who have long lived in
France, and have applied to be removed from the voter registration
list, are still to be found in the list.”
13. Aghbyuradzor village, Vardenis. Armen Vardanyan. “Voters are
being intimidated, open voting is occurring.”
14. Polling station 12/35. Charbakh, public school #158. 11:27.
“After two hours, the voting stamp has evaporated.” The vanishing
ink of the stamp has been widely documented, and is the basis of
15. Kochari Borsa. 11:30. A mother of a child: “At kindergarten #23,
the headmaster (Angela) held children hostage until their parents went
to vote. The headmasters are calling parents and asking them to vote.”
16. Polling station 19/41. Norakert, Armavir region. 11:45. Vardan
Grigoryan: “The mayor is instructing voters to vote for #6.”
17. Polling station 5/30 and 5/31. 12:05. Campaign representative
Susanna Barkhudaryan: “Group voters are being instructed how to vote.”
18. Polling stations 34/24 and 34/4. Gyumri public schools #7 and
#11. Campaign representative Vahagn Hovanisyan. 12:00. “Observers
are copying information from the voter log and are transmitting it
outside of the polling station.”
19. Polling station 1/32, public school #139. 12:00. Lusine Petrosyan:
“Observers are constantly intervening.”
20. Polling station 8/22, public school #191. 12:35. Lusine Petrosyan:
“They are threatening our campaign representative.”
21. Polling station 13/17, public school #43. 12:40. Davit
Harutyunyan. “Tokhmakhi Mher’s people are crowding and intimidating;
they are approaching voters and instructing them to vote for Serzh
22. Dvin, near Ararat and Artashat. A member of ARF, supporter of ARF:
“There are instructions to vote for all absent voters.”
23. Polling station, 11/16. Michael Shushanik. 13:30. “The stamp
vanished by the time he got home.”
24. Berd, Tavush region. Cultural center. 13:45. Anonymous voter,
a member of HAK. “General absence of control. Voters are engaged in
25. Horom, Shirak region. Sargis Khachatryan. 14:00. “General
lawlessness. An official from the municipality is offering 5000 AMD.
26. Eghiyapatrus, Aragatsotn region. Hamlet Sargsyan. 14:51. “The
mayor and the school principal and his brother Gnel Grigoryan are
intimidating voters, and threatening to cut their social benefits, will
expel their children from kindergarten. The community has 486 voters.”
27. Polling station 3/27. Anonymous voter. “President of the Election
Commission has registered a fake passport incident. The voter having
voted at another polling station with the President of Election
Commission (he/she was a neighbor), had come to the 3/27 to vote
28. Polling station 14/15. Karbi, Aragatsotn region. “The Election
Commission member representing Serzh Sargsyan is inspecting ballots
to see how citizens have voted.”
29. Polling station 7/01. 14:45. Tamar Grigoryan witnessed how a person
standing by the ballot box receives a bundle of ballot envelopes,
and hides it away from others.
30. Polling station 9/18. Abgar Sargsyan has witnessed how a person
with a possible fake passport was not able to answer a question about
his/her father’s name. He then ran away.”
31. Polling station 12/13. Vruyr Matevosyan via Facebook. The stamp
32. Polling station 11/3. Anonymous voter. 16:33. “He/she has noticed
three strangers registered under his/her address. The names of the
strangers: Gor Gagiki Arakelyan; Marine Karleni Harutyunyan; Rosa
33. Polling station 3/33. Heritage representative Daniel Ionessian.
“Frequent and inexplicable power outages.”
34. Vanadzor. A citizen reported that a woman named Almast was bribed
and her three-member family received 30,000 AMD from Serzh Sargsyan
headquarters. On February 17 the woman passed away and today already
the incumbent’s representative demands back 10,000 AMD.
35. Vanadzor, precinct 29/4. The voter lists are posted so high that
people are not able to read their names.
36. Yerevan, Secondary School of the Fourth Village. Samvel Aleksanyan,
current MP and oligarch, bribed the entire staff of the village’s
two kindergartens. Each employee received 25,000AMD to vote for
37. Erebuni, Yerevan. Reports of bribes being distributed among voters.
38. Lori region, Katnarat village. 5000AMD is offered to citizens in
order to vote for Serzh Sargsyan.
39. Lori region, Agarak village, polling station 32/39. 300 voters out
of registered 960 are currently abroad and the village head intends to
“dispense” those votes to the incumbent.
40. Yerevan, 22 Zohrap Street. A citizen Yuri Ghrkhikyan reports that
his son Ara Ghrkhikyan and brother Toros Ghrkhikyan (who do not live
in Armenia and are Russian Federation citizens) are still registered
on the voter list, enabling the possibility of false voting.
41. Tashir, precinct 32/5. Mariam Palutyan, Heritage’s representative
in the territorial electoral commission, recorded an act of ballot
42. Yerevan, 48 Artashesyan Street. Ashot Arevshatyan offers bribe
43. Karadzor village, precinct 29/24. Village head Arayik Matinyan is
openly engaged in ballot box stuffing and guides the voters on how
to vote. The head of the precinct electoral commission refuses the
request of the Heritage commission representative to record these
violation acts in the official register book.
44. Yerevan, Heratsi street. Mikayel Nshanyan (cell: 077060612)
reports that two strange minibuses were in front of polling station
located at Acharyan school.
45. Myasnik Grigori Safaryan (tel: 010. 42-95-85) reports that the
owners of 54 Shirak street, 43 apartment-Gagik Andraniki Davtyan,
Tigran Gagiki Davtyan, and Alisa Hovakimyan-have not lived in Armenia
for ten years but are still registered on the voter list, enabling
the possibility of false voting.
46. Shirak region, Horom village. Sargis Khachatryan reports
that voters receive 5,000 AMD from the village head, witnessed by
Municipality employees Sahak Minasyan and Karlen Abrahamyan, and then
cast their votes.
47. Polling station 8/11, 97 kindergarten of Oshakan. Khachatur
Khachatryan (contacts: 095-917202, 093-917251) witnessed double voting
via supplemental lists.
48. At 11:30am. Shengavit, Yerevan. A man named Tigran: “The ink on
the last page of passports disappears in a couple of minutes.”
49. Chochakan village, Lori region. An anonymous voter witnessed open
voting on Election day and bribe distribution on the previous day.
50. Norakert village, polling station 19/41. The head of the village
is present in the polling station and forces villagers to vote openly
so he can see who they vote for.
51. Aragats factory, polling station 3/19. Excessive accumulation of
voters inside and outside the polling station.
52. Inessa Petrosyan reports at 12:30 that the ink on the last page
of her passport disappeared after an hour.
53. Arabkir district, 23 Kindergarten, Vratsakan street. A parent
reports that the kindergarten employees are being kept at the local
municipality of Arabkir and being demanded to ensure that the parents
will vote for the incumbent.
54. At 11:25. Precinct 9/18. Citizen Abgar Sargsyan informs that Arkadi
and Nelli Bablumyan as well as Susanna Petrosyan are currently abroad
but their names have not been removed from the voter lists.
55. Precinct 7/13, South-Western District of Yerevan. Multiple voting:
Edgar Petrosyan reports that an unknown person guided 10-12 people
to vote by a supplemental voter list.
56. Verin Getashen village. Village head Artush Ghukasyan is always
present in the precinct forcing the villagers vote openly so he can
ensure that they vote for the incumbent.
57. Kapan, Precinct 38/12. Excessive crowding inside and outside the
polling stations and indications of ballot box stuffing. Heritage MP
Zaruhi Postanjyan and Aravot newspaper’s journalist Mary Soghomonyan
were in attendance at this polling station.
58. Arabkir 37, polling station 4/13. Heritage precinct electoral
commission member found an empty envelope left by Republican Party
member and voter Vahagn Smbatyan who came to vote for the second time.
59. Nor Nork district, Yerevan, polling station 3/33. Daniel Ionessian
reports that 2 proxies of Serzh Sargsyan intended to be present at
the polling station together and only by the help of police was one
of them forcibly removed from the precinct.
60. Amiryan, polling station 24/7. Abgar Sargsyan reports that the
names of three dead people-Karen Ghazanchyan, Narine Sahakyna and
Michael Avetisyan-still exist in the voter lists and registries.
61. Sari Tagh, School #47, polling station 13/4. Two voters found
out that somebody has already signed instead of them in the register
books of voters. The Heritage proxy reported this.
62. 3rd district, polling station 5/10. A group of people hindered
voters and did not allow the Heritage proxy to make a report.
63. Kharberd, polling station 16/41. Guided voting and open voting
64. Polling station 8/9. Narine Vardumyan reports: “Already the
second time a group of people is being brought to vote by additional
65. Ashtarak, Ohanyan, and Nazrvan villages. Village heads direct
voters to vote for the incumbent.
66. Zovuni village. Voter Asatour Papyan reports: “The village head
directs voters to vote openly for the incumbent.”
67. Vardenis, Aghbyuradzor. Voter Armen Vardanyan reports: “People
are being threatened and forced into open voting.”
Reports from our Facebook page:
68. Polling station 16/30. A voter from Hayanist, Ararat region
reports: “Over 70% of the community are seniors, at least 60 years
old. The number of voters are 1862. Most of these are being brought
to the stations by supporters of the incumbent. There are a number of
individuals who are not displaying any credentials, and are interfering
with the voting process. The elder voters are disoriented, and instead
of assisting them, these unauthorized persons are voting for them.”
69. Polling station 14/5, Ashtarak. A voter reports: “Serious
violations are taking place. People are voting for others; a member
of the Election Commission is voting, in violation of the electoral
code; the Heritage representative is alone and cannot control the
70. A voter from Apaga, Armavir. “In Apaga, there are no free
elections. The mayor is bribed.”
71. Polling station 29/12. A voter reports: “Soldiers are voting.
One of them reported that the ballot box has a crack, through which
ballots are being stuffed.”
72. An anonymous voter reports: “Around Masis there are serious
violations. A hundred ballots are being stuffed for Serzh; I know
73. Precinct 29/45. A voter reports: “At our polling station in
Saramejum, Lori, 5,000 AMD bribes are being distributed. Villagers are
first escorted to the Mayor’s office. In addition, Serzh’s people are
openly pressuring voters to vote for him. They are standing over the
voter’s shoulders and pointing to Serzh’s name on the ballot. I am
asking you to strengthen your oversight of these polling stations. I
ask you to protect my identity. I fear for my family and self.”
74. Polling station 29/45. A voter reports: “Mr. Hovannisian, new
violations are taking place. Your proxy, Mr. Stepan Safarian has
been cursed at and forcibly removed from the polling station. Please
respond. People are losing hope.”
75. “Please send a group to Hovtashat, where people are giving you
their vote. They are stamping the ballots incorrectly, so that they
will be hard to confirm. If you don’t win, we will start a war.”
76. Davtashen 5/14 polling station (kindergarten). In the small room
to the left of the entrance they are passing out bribes. And the
stamp is disappearing immediately.
77. At the Leningradian 38 address, number 41 kindergarten, the ballot
box shows clear signs of being stuffed.
78. Vardenis region, in the Dorfavan and Vanevan communities. Open
voting is being conducted. Villagers are being given land tax and
fuel coupons in return for open voting.
79. “At the Kanakeravan election station, the electoral commission
consists of 3-4 people, all of theme Kanakeravtsi and all of them
members of the Rupublican Party. It seems impossible that you will
be able to protect your votes here.”
80. “From the Martuni district, a group of company employees have
left for Yerevan to be able to vote for a second time. The voting
station is in the Armentel building.”
81. Ararat region, Avshar village. Villagers that are coming to vote,
but are being told that they others have voted in their stead. Voters
that insisited were allowed to vote, but if they voted for Raffi
Hovannisian their ballot was discarded. The MP of this village is
the owner of Avshar Wine Factory, Araik Grigorian, and the village
mayor is his brother.
82. 29/45 voting district, Lori region, Sarametch village. “They are
giving out 5000 dram vote bribes. The villagers are going first to
the Town Hall to get the money and then are heading to the school
to vote. In addition, Republican representatives and the precinct
committee president are showing them Serzh Sargsyan’s name and forcing
them to vote for him. I fear for my and my family’s safety.”
83. “The village mayor of Verin Artashat in the Ararat region is
entering the voting booth and forcing young voters and women voters
to vote for the incumbent. I am disgusted.”
84. Jamparak city and two other voting stations. “People are going
to the voting stations, picking up their ballots, entering the voting
booth, opening the ballots to vote and what do they see? A check mark
in front of the current president’s name.”
85. “The local neighborhood leader as well as the local Republican
Party leaders are terrorizing and bribing us with 5000 AMD. They are
also forcefully directing us into minibuses and taxis, and forcing
us to vote for Serzh Sargsyan.”
86. Gegharkunik region, Geghahovit village. “They are pressuring those
who have already voted to vote for a second time, and are offering
money in return.”
87. Lori region, Nor Kachakar. “Village head is collecting passports,
and votes for over 200 people have been registered in the place of
88. Shirak region, Mantash and Getap villages. “At this moment enormous
election violations are taking place. In Mantash, the ballots are
pre-marked for Serzh, the village mayor won’t allow people to vote
as they please. In Getap, the village mayor is passing out 5000 AMD
bribes. It pains me that these things are occurring in front of my
eyes. Unfortunately at my age I’m not able to interfere.”
89. Sari Tag. Head of the district and Republican Party leader use
public intimidation and bribes of 5000 AMD to make people vote for
90. Syunik region, Geghahovit. “People who have already voted are
being forced to go and vote again. They are also offered money.”
91. Lori, New Khachakar village. “Village head has taken the 9th forms
from the passports of nearly two hundred people who are currently
not in Armenian and used their votes.”
92. Shirak, Mantash, and Getap. “Major election violations look
place. In Mantash ballots were pre-marked for Serzh Sargisyan. In
Getap the voters are bribed to vote for Serzh Sargsyan.”
93. “Near public school #132, numerous cars have gathered, filled
with many young people. Another Gazel minivan stood suspiciously by
the 27/1 apartment building – people were getting in and out of the
minivan and heading into the polling station.
An illustrative email from an independent election observer,
documenting ballot stuffing and physical violence against her:
94. From Narine Esmaeili. Election Observer from Birthright Armenia
in Artashat precinct 17/5.
“We entered the polling place around 8. From the very start the
commission members as well as the proxies told us to mind our own
business and sit in the corner. We paid no attention and recorded
Serzh Sargsyan supporters trying to vote more than once. Serzh’s
proxies changed literally once an hour at this point and many of
his supporters who seemed to be some sort of ranking offcials kept
coming in and keeping an eye on us. Around 2:30 I noticed a lot of
people were walking in (the max is 15). I asked the assigned cop to
stop them and all of a sudden around 30 men entered and surrounded
the ballot box. I walked up and grabbed the arm of one of the men
who was holding on to the box and he pushed me against the wall and
held my hands. He kept me there until it was over. From where I was
standing I saw the commission’s secretary had opened the box and one
of the other men poured in a bag full of ballots. I estimated around
400 since the count was at 500 about 20 min before hand and it seemed
to have doubled. They ran out and everyone in the room pretended like
I called my boss. I called media center, OSCE, and almost everyone
I could think of. Then I made the stupid move of calling the cops
becasue they started harassing me. The village leader (whose son had
pushed me) came in WITH the cops to tell me that I’m a good smart
young girl and that I should stop lying if I want to stay out of
trouble. They took my partner to a separate room and questioned him
for over an hour only to make a faulty report. Then during counting
they nearly arrested us when we complained about the numbers.”
95. Polling stations 18/23 and 18/24, Verdi. Heritage campaign proxy
and ARF proxy witnessed attempts by Republican proxies and election
commission officials to falsely report ballot count tallies. They
spoke with Heritage campaign camera crew and a rapid response team
about these acts. They submitted to them the official voter tally
asking them to ensure that the final submission match these numbers.
96. Polling station 9/05. Metaks. A campaign proxy reports that Raffi
was winning the vote count. He and a camera crew with a journalist
heard loud banging, and went towards the noise. They opened the door,
and the person on the other side said he had lost his passport. The
proxy and the crew returned to the table where the votes were being
counted, and all of a sudden Serzh was winning significantly.
97. Torfavan and Vanevan villages in Vardenis. Ballots are cast
openly. Voters are being provided property tax vouchers and oil,
in return for voting openly.
98. A voter from Kanakeravan reports that all Election Commission
members are Hanrapetakan, and says he/she is afraid all Raffi
Hovannisian’s votes will be lost.
99. At electoral precinct 7/06 at midnight Vahagn Khatchatryan has
sounded the alarm that the president of the election commission
has arbitrarily decided to stop the vote counting and has taken to
talking mysteriously on his phone. A team was dispatched from the
Raffi Hovannisian campaign to the precinct.
100. In electoral precinct 8/11 commission member Khatchatur
Khatchatryan reports that, between the hours of 9:30 and 11:00, the
supplementary voter list composed of 111 names included 59 permanent
residents of Oshakan village of the Aragatsotn region. All of these
voters, incidentally, were bussed in en masse.
101. In electoral precinct 8/11 commission member Khatchatur
Khatchatryan was approached, between the hours of 16:30 and 17:00,
by a citizen who identified himself as the supervisor of Building
55 on Andranik Street and who asked to be given voting information
on residents of his building, so that he could enforce the votes
required of him. The citizen held in his hand a list-ostensibly a
bribe list-which Khatchatryan confiscated from him and the first page
of which we reproduce here. Such lists are very popular within the
incumbent’s campaign, and they are used to keep accountable those
citizens who receive bribes.
102. At polling station 9/5, Raffi Hovannisian representative Roza
Badasian submitted a complaing to the election commission president.
According to her, after a brief absence from the room, she noticed
that Serzh Sargsyan’s ballots had significantly increased. This is
confirmed by Arthur Eminyan of the same precinct.
103. At polling station 4/1 it was noticed that Lianush Vilushi
Gevorgyan’s address, as listed in her passport, did not match the
addressed on the supplemental list where she was registered. The
commission president allowed her to vote anyway.
104. Three members of the commission at polling station 4/1 witnessed
how Sona Mikayeli Vardanyan arrived at the precinct only to find that
somehow else had already voted in her name.
105. At many polling stations substitute ballot boxes, pre-stuffed
with ballots, were present. In several cases, after the initial count
in Raffi Hovannisian’s favor, Hovannisian’s representatives were
offered major bribes. At polling station 3/12 Heritage commission
member Hmayak Azaryan was offered, but refused, ten thousand dollars
to momentarily leave the room.
106. At polling station 4/23 Heritage commission member Margarita
Hakobyan reports that most of the 70 people voting by supplementary
list were registered to one of two recurring addresses.
107. At polling station 9/1 Raffi Hovannisian representative Armen
Virabyan reports, in addition to instances of multiple voting,
that 70-100 of Hovannisian’s votes were stolen during the counting
process, while many others were found illegitimate. This was, by the
way, a recurring theme, whereby up to 250 Hovannisian ballots were
disqualified as illegitimate in a single precinct.
Media Links of Interest
Elderly man told whom to vote
In buses, organizers with
Henchmen outside precincts – a common
Man attempts to vote with fake passport: