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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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