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.
Assurances by the Armenian government about its determination to fight corruption do not appear yet to inspire opposition parties and representatives of civil society that this fight is going to be successful.
Armenia’s former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian, who plans to set up a political party soon, disagrees with the view of former president and current opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosyan that “now is not the time to accuse the authorities and try to hold them accountable for mistakes and failings.”
Hrazdan’s mayor Aram Danielyan representing the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) has been reelected in a Sunday vote that opposition members and observers claim was held in condition of numerous violations.
4+4+4 Outcome: Government, opposition, civil society talks on electoral bill end amid mixed assessments
The government says at least two of the proposals of the opposition and civil society will be included in the draft election code, which is set to be submitted to the National Assembly this week. However, the opposition says this does not meet its expectations.
A leader of a recently established opposition party says they have managed to “keep” all votes cast for their candidate in Sunday’s mayoral elections in a provincial town. Yet, the incumbent mayor from the ruling party has still won in the election marred by allegations of vote buying and fraud.
The parliamentary elections of 2017 will continue with frauds, as provisions proposed by the opposition and civil society representatives during the 4+4+4 format were not accepted, says Deputy Director of the Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center Sona Ayvazyan.
Given the absence of large-scale fraud, a large number of votes of defeated candidate Sasun Mikaelyan, the Hrazdan mayor elections, were a step forward, Lernik Alexanyan, an MP from the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), told media.
A new initiative in Armenia called “Citizens Concerned with Disasters Threatening Armenia” is collecting signatures for a petition demanding that the authorities of Armenia give up cooperation with Russia and deepen their ties with European institutions.