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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The National Assembly has passed the new Electoral Code in the third and final reading today, with Chief of Government Staff David Harutyunyan admitting that there is still no broad consensus with the opposition on the set of electoral laws yet.
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.
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.
This week, Alan Meale and Giuseppe Galati, co-rapporteurs on Armenia of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Monitoring Committee, during their visit to the country, met the President, Prime Minister and a number of senior officials to discuss Armenia’s democratic and legislative development processes, as well as issues linked with the April four-day war in Nagorno Karabakh.
Armenia’s amended Constitution scraps the hitherto applied mixed system of electoral voting and parliamentary representation and replaces it with an all-proportional one, but debate over whether elements of the majoritarian system should be retained in the elections appears to continue in the country’s political circles.
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