Authors Posts by GOHAR ABRAHAMYAN
Armenian parliamentary forces continued to discuss the draft electoral code that was passed in the first reading late last month amid claims by the opposition about lack of consensus. Representatives of the authorities, meanwhile, assured the opposition that discussions could also proceed between the second and third reading votes based on opposition proposals to achieve consensus.
Armenia’s opposition groups reacted mostly with skepticism to Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan’s “revolutionary” call for speedy reforms in various spheres of Armenia’s political and public life, casting doubts that rhetoric will be followed by real action.
Allegations about Armenia’s “nuclear capabilities” and even possession of some kind of an “A-bomb”, which have been strongly denied at the state level in Yerevan, have recently led to a real anti-Armenian hysteria in Azerbaijan where at different levels calls have been made for the international community to deal with the matter.
Armenia’s bill “On the Recognition of the Artsakh (an alternative name for Nagorno Karabakh) Republic” has been perceived ambiguously and different parliamentary parties have already announced that they will probably not vote at all should it come up for a voting at the National Assembly.
If Armenia is to recognize the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), then the opposition-drafted bill that got a go-ahead from the government based on its endorsement of a Foreign Ministry conclusion on May 5 should still pass several stages before becoming a law.
The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), which is the world’s largest Armenian non-profit organization, says the latest escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh has not hampered its current programs and activities in the second Armenian republic.
“A manifestation of outstanding statesmanship.” This is how ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s behavior after the April aggression of Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh has been described by Deputy Parliament Speaker Eduard Sharmazanov, who is also a spokesperson for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA).
Armenia’s Special Investigation Service (SIS) has launched a criminal case in connection with the offshore activities of Armenia’s former chief of the Service for Mandatory Execution of Judicial Acts (SMEJA) Mihran Poghosyan who resigned from his post last month following a global scandal dubbed Panama Papers, SIS spokesperson Mikayel Aharonyan informed ArmeniaNow.
When hostilities broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh in early April, thousands of volunteers, many of whom still participated in the 1992-1994 war, joined the regular troops to help resist Azerbaijan’s aggression. Many of them stayed put near the frontlines even after active military operations ground to a halt following a verbal ceasefire agreement on April 5 and their presence there and participation in border protection admittedly remains an important factor of homeland defense today.
The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) and its allies that dominate the Armenian National Assembly on Thursday ensured a first-reading passage of a new electoral bill that had earlier become a subject of heated discussions in and outside the legislature.