Preparations for elections in Armenia are largely regarded by media critical of the government as preparations for new rigging. The reason for such assumptions is the current process of the formation of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), which, some observers claim, shows that the government is not going to change anything.
A dialogue between the ruling coalition and the opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC) will take place -- moreover, it will proceed in the format of talks between delegations. Still, the dialogue is unlikely to be around early elections, as the ANC insists, but around “a wide range of problems urgent for the country.”
During its 31st general meeting in the Armenian resort town of Tsakhkadzor, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) elected Karabakh Foreign Minister Georgy Petrosyan to its Bureau, the supreme body of the party. The press linked this move to upcoming changes in the negotiating process on the Karabakh conflict, in particular, Karabakh’s upcoming participation in the negotiations.
The Armenian National Congress (ANC) that insists on early elections in Armenia during its June 30 rally in fact announced its summer vacation and gave the authorities time until September to specify their stance on participation in the dialogue.
The Kazan summit of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement did not become a fiasco of the negotiating process, and, apparently, expectations from it may well be justified -- as is suggested by some statements and developments after the event.
The countries spearheading international efforts on brokering a solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh have not yet expressed their attitude to the failure of the sides to reach an agreement around the basic principles of settlement at the June 24 summit.
Prior to the Russia-mediated meeting of the Armenian and Azeri presidents scheduled for June 24-25 in Kazan, optimism is mixed with pessimism in anticipation of the possible signing of a certain agreement on the basic principles of the Karabakh settlement, which, if signed, would be the culmination of the almost two-decade-long negotiation process.
On June 20 Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan received the head of the Department of International Relations of the Palestinian movement, Fatah, former Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath.
Earlier, Palestinian news agency Maan reported that the purpose of the visit was to enlist the support of Armenia in the matter of the United Nations declaration on Palestinian independence.
Commenting on issues related to the dialogue with the extra-parliamentary opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC) Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan late last week issued a statement that the opposition later described as “vague” and representatives of the authorities as “fairly concrete.”