Deputy from PAP Party Vahe Enfiajyan wrote a post on Facebook according to which Edmon Marukyan has to be deprived of deputy’s mandate because he fabricated a number of documents related to his registration.
In particular, Enfiajyan claims that in 2009 and 2010, Marukyan did not live in Armenia for more than a year, and, hence, he did not have the right to run in 2012 parliamentary elections. “… From June 13, 2009 to August 30, 2010, Marukyan was absent from Armenia, i.e. he was not in Armenia for 1 year and 17 days. However, Marukyan presented a document to the Passport Service of the Police according to which citizen Edmon Marukyan permanently resided in Armenia during the last five years. And where was Marukyan from June 13, 2009 to August 30, 2010? The latter studied in the US Minnesota University within the frames of the Hubert Humphrey project”, Enfiajyan wrote.
The Electoral Code adopted on May 26, 2011 (based on which 2012 parliamentary elections were held), stipulates that “Anyone having attained the age of twenty-five, not holding the citizenship of another State, having been a citizen of the Republic of Armenia for the last five years, permanently residing in the Republic in the last five years and having the right of suffrage shall have the right to be elected as a deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia.”
However, the Electoral Code adopted in 2011 did not clarify the conditions of living outside Armenia, so anyone who was registered in Armenia could be considered permanent resident, and the police had the authority to provide a certificate proving it.
These provisions have a clear definition in the Electoral Code adopted in 2016. According to Clause 2 of Article 80 of the Electoral Code, “A citizen shall not be considered as permanently residing in the Republic of Armenia for the preceding 4 years where he or she has been absent from the Republic of Armenia for at least 731 days out of 1 461 days preceding the day of submitting an application to the authorized body for the purpose of obtaining a statement of information, in the manner prescribed, on having permanent residence for the registration of a candidate, except for cases when the absence has been conditioned by circumstances related to the secondment for service purposes of a person who is a public servant of the Republic Armenia, or to his or her study at higher educational institutions abroad.”
It means that Edmon Marukyan’s actions were not illegal even according to the current Electoral Code as he was absent from the country for 382 days (1 year 17 days), and that absence was due to his studies abroad.