Constitutional Court of Armenia started hearings today based on presidential candidates Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Tigran Karapetyan appeals to annul the final decision by Central Election Commission which grants victory to prime minister Serj Sargsyan. Ter-Petrosyan side claims evidence of massive electoral fraud, violations, irregularities, including ballot staffing, voter bribing, assaults to observers, biased and restricted access to media, use of administrative resources by prime minister. March 8 is the formal deadline for Constitutional Court to make a decision (according to Radio Liberty estimates based on legal advice).
Armenian legal system and courts have always been under the influence of authorities. Now, when civil liberties of Armenian citizens are restricted and life is ruled by ‘state of emergency’, it is even harder to expect independent decision by Armenia’s Constitutional Court. It is very telling that Court started its hearings being cordoned off by army and police.
Levon Ter-Petrosyan is effectively under ‘house arrest’ and Constitutional Court decided that Prosecutor-General should make sure that Ter-Petrosyan is able to be present during court hearings in case he wishes to do so.
*photo via RFE/RL