Raffi Hovannisian campaign headquarters sounds alarm on vanishing ink, widespread fraud, and systematic corruption plaguing the ongoing presidential election.
At campaign headquarters the phones have not stopped ringing since polling stations opened this morning, and Raffi Hovannisian's Facebook page is overflowing with reports of violations presently occurring across all categories and all regions of the Republic of Armenia. By 6pm we have hundreds of reports of major material violations of the election code, including incidents of actual ballot-stuffing, intimidation, and rampant vote-buying-which had begun three days earlier in Gyumri, but has spread since then to Vanadzor, Yerevan, and everywhere in between and beyond.
At least one polling station was shut down for more than fifteen minutes, during which all campaign representatives were removed from the premises. In another case an electoral commission president took possession of the official vote log and, against the protests of Hovannisian's election monitors, accompanied two unknown outsiders into a closed room. The doors remained locked for more than ten minutes. People have been caught voting with fake passports and with passports belonging to others.
In major cities votes continue to be bought, while in villages mayors are pressuring voters to vote for the incumbent president as gangs of young henchmen oversee precincts. Meanwhile caravans of taxis and buses are being employed in the service of a systematic operation to transport voters hundreds of kilometers away from home, to precincts where they have been registered in "supplemental lists." In general voting precincts are besieged by buses, which are often full of elderly people. There is video evidence of the elderly being guided to vote for the Republican Party candidate by election officials inside the voting precinct.
Within the culture of multiple voting, furthermore, the discovery of vanishing ink is highly alarming. At the moment citizens who have already cast ballots can apply a wet napkin on the last page of their passports, and erase within a few moments all evidence of their voting. In many cases the ink vanishes on its own.
Elderly man told whom to vote for:
In buses, organizers with lists:
Henchmen outside precincts - a common sight:
Man escapes after trying to vote with another's passport: