In response to a formal request from the Government of Armenia, the European Union (EU), Governments of Germany, United Kingdom, and Sweden agreed to provide electoral assistance in holding 9 December early parliamentary elections in Armenia.
Today, Ararat Mirzoyan, Acting First Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Antoni Świtalski, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Matthias Kiesler, Ambassador of Germany to Armenia, Judith Farnworth, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Armenia, Martin Fredriksson, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Sweden to Armenia, and Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, signed the document officially announcing the start of the project on electoral assistance, which will be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia.
The Electoral Support Project in Armenia (ESPA) is aimed to assist the Armenian authorities in holding credible and transparent pre-term elections, as well as strengthen capacities of electoral management bodies in Armenia. The project is funded with contributions from the Government of Armenia – USD 0.7 million, the European Union – EUR 1.5 million, Germany – EUR 0.7 million, the United Kingdom – GBP 0.5 million, and Sweden – SEK 1.5 million.
“Credible, transparent and participatory electoral processes lead to effective citizen engagement, equitable representation, and effective governance institutions; in the long-term they will also enhance Armenia’s stability and economic development,” stated the high-level representatives of the international community.
The project will target the following key areas: ensuring the continued use of voter authentication devices (VADs) introduced in the 2017 elections; live streaming of the polling and counting proceedings on Election Day through installation of web cameras at approximately 1,500 out of 2,000 electoral precincts; improving voter registration and education through assisting the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) in developing new training modules and updating the existing training materials; and raising awareness among women and young voters about the electoral process.
The ESPA project team is coordinating closely with other international organizations providing electoral technical assistance to maximise the effectiveness of donor support.
In the post-electoral period, the project will support the CEC in developing an e-learning platform that will be used to provide on-line access to the polling and counting procedures for polling agents and other stakeholders. The e-learning platform would allow the CEC to develop modules targeting specific stakeholders with a variety of content.