Nagorno Karabakh’s former powerful defense minister Samvel Babayan has returned to Armenia after spending several years abroad in de-facto political “exile” as a figure who had fallen out of favor with Armenia’s ruling elite.
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.
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.
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.
Hayk Khanumyan, the head of the opposition National Rebirth faction in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic’s National Assembly and chairman of the party, has been beaten up and was hospitalized in capital Stepanakert.
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.
Armenia’s former foreign minister Vartan Oskanian, who is a harsh government critic today, delivered a tough speech at the National Assembly on Wednesday, saying that elections in Armenia have been rigged in the past two decades.
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.
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.
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