Strasbourg – The Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR have issued an joint urgent opinion on amendments to the Electoral Code and related legislation of Armenia. Having examined the conformity of the procedure of their elaboration, as well as the conformity of the amendments with international standards, the opinion concludes that the package is to be broadly welcomed, as it addresses the majority of previous recommendations. At the same time, the opinion suggests a series of key recommendations aimed at improving the draft amendments submitted.
The opinion was requested by the Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia on 4 March 2021 and was based, inter alia, on a series of video conferences with representatives of Armenian institutions as well as of non-state representatives, such as political parties or the civil society. On 1 April 2021, the National Assembly adopted a first set of amendments to the Electoral Code concerning the abolition of the territorial candidate lists, with 82 votes in favour and no abstentions or votes against. The signing of the amendments into law is pending.
The opinion was prepared under the Quick response Mechanism in the framework of the EU/CoE joint programme Partnership for Good Governance, co-funded by the Council of Europe and the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe.