After the end of another election cycle in which the ruling party only consolidated its grip on power, there seems to have been a growing appreciation in Armenia for public protests as a constitutional way of influencing government decision-making.
The Sunday elections to Yerevan’s Council of Elders marked the end of another election cycle in Armenia that started a year ago with the legislative polls and continued in February of this year with the presidential ballot.
The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) did extremely well in all of the three ballots amid criticism that all of the votes were heavily rigged in favor of the establishment force and its candidate.
On May 2, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian paid a visit to Stepanakert to meet with the local leadership, including the Karabakh president, parliament speaker and his local counterpart. Official reports contain only general information on the subjects discussed at the meetings, but analysts see a link between this visit and the upcoming meeting in the Polish city of Krakow of the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Major opposition forces participating in the May 5 elections to Yerevan’s Council of Elders rule out the possibility of the current ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) and its mayor Taron Margaryan retaining power in the Armenian capital.
The incident which recently occurred in the second largest Armenian city of Gyumri where two clans engaged in a gun battle in broad daylight and most importantly the drastic response of the authorities to similar methods of asserting influence on local politics have given many experts reasons to talk about the beginning of ‘decriminalization’ of Armenia. But everyone now is wondering what will be introduced instead of the uprooted ‘thief’ rule to fill the gap.
Armenia and Azerbaijan will have fresh talks on Karabakh at the level of their foreign ministers in the Polish city of Krakow next month. This was announced after the meeting of Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Thursday.
On April 24 the world marked the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide committed in the Ottoman Empire. Two years from now it will be a century since the massacres in which 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives and a whole people was uprooted from its historical homeland.
Already now experts estimate that the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in 2015 may become a point that will have political implications for the entire region.
The U.S. State Department has issued its annual report on human rights, in which it makes quite a harsh assessment of the situation in Armenia. In addition to a number of violations of human rights and minority rights, the report also points to government corruption at all levels, the limited right of citizens to change their government and the low level of transparency in government.