Armenia’s Parliamentary elections, held on May 12, were the first in the history of independent Armenia that international observers recognized as free and compliant with most international standards. The Rule of Law Initiative carried out a successful large-scale initiative to provide free legal services to Armenian voters during the election period, involving cooperation with NGOs, individual lawyers and civil activists.
Entitled A Legal Initiative, Elections 2007, the Rule of Law Initiative's voter-assistance program included a national toll-free hotline number, available to all Armenia citizens in need of legal assistance on election-related issues and problems. A colorful and far-reaching promotional campaign - featuring yellow and green hats, posters, flyers and stickers - was implemented to raise awareness about the availability of the Rule of Law Initaitive's free legal services.
Fifteen “ambulances," each manned by three civic activists and one lawyer, were in action on election day. Coordinated by lawyers at the hotline headquarters, the ambulances operated in Yerevan and other regions and were sent to follow up on calls from citizens who needed on-the-spot legal assistance. The hotline received 129 calls in the pre-election period and 113 calls on the day of the election. Lawyers at the hotline providing legal consultations and assistance to callers, many of whom requested clarification on voting procedures, aid in restoring their voter rights, and assistance in filing complaints.