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.
A new political party being set up by Vartan Oskanian, a former foreign minister critical of Armenia’s current government, will be called Hamakhmbum (Consolidation), it emerged today.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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