The discussions over the draft Electoral Code held among government, opposition and civil society representatives in the so-called 4+4+4 format, according to opposition members, ended without results. The opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC) party stated at the National Assembly on Monday that it suspended its participation in further discussions.
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.
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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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