Having officially announced, that the date for the 2008 Presidential elections has been set to 19 February, 2008, CEC chairman Garegin Azaryan has told the journalists that the presidential elections in 2008 “will be free and fair, like the previous ones”. Here are some important dates and deadlines to keep in mind:
The Central Electoral Commission has ratified the agenda for the presidential elections in 2008.
It has been confirmed that TV and radio companies should publish their airtime price list by November 19.
Based on the ratified agenda, CEC will accept the documents on the nomination of presidential candidates from November 21 to December 6, 2007.
Presidential candidates can be registered from December 31, 2007 to January 20, 2008.
Publication of poll results will be prohibited from 20:00, February 12, 2008.
The campaigns for presidential elections shall be conducted from January 21 to February 17.
The election date is February 19.
EC will summarize the preliminary results of presidential elections on February 20, at 20:00. The final results will be published on February 26.
Well it’s all clear and everything, but I’m somewhat concerned about that phrase: “like the previous ones”. While I acknowledge, that the 2007 Parliamentary elections were “free and fair” in relative terms, I can’t see what other “free and fair” elections the CEC chairman means looking back at the 15+ years of independent Armenia’s history? And considering all the economic pressures in the shape of tax inspections against LTP supporter MP Khachatur Sukiasyan and Gala TV which is simply trying to carry out independent editorial policy, I don’t see how will the upcoming Presidential elections come even close to being free and fair?