Last Friday’s controversial arrest of a pro-opposition newspaper’s journalist has raised questions and suspicions among the country’s media community that it might be a retribution for his critical reporting against the chief of the national police force.
Hayk Gevorgyan, a 45-year-old deputy editor for the Haykakan Zhamanak daily, is accused of a hit and run and police say he has not complied with their request to come for questioning. Meanwhile, the paper’s chief editor and opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC) activist Nikol Pashinyan as well as most media organizations and human rights activists describe the case as persecution connected with Gevorgyan’s professional activities.
Against the backdrop of rising inflation, falling standards of living, general impoverishment of the population as well as promises of the incumbent authorities to ensure the conduct of independent Armenia’s fairest elections, the main focus of the campaigning may become economic platforms of political parties.
The main intrigue at May parliamentary elections is likely to be whether the two coalition parties, the Republicans led by President Serzh Sargsyan and Prosperous Armenia that does not deny its loyalty to ex-president Robert Kocharyan, will be able to coordinate their actions and act without causing damage to each other.
The May parliamentary elections in Armenia may become unprecedented at least by their potential to unite some irreconcilable political forces.
Upon the initiative of the parliamentary opposition parties, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and Heritage, the National Assembly is to hold hearings on the possibility of scrapping the current mixed electoral system, including single-mandate constituency and party list ballots, and switching to an all-proportional vote.
Turkey is not in a hurry to materialize its threats of economic sanctions against France, as it deems the law passed by the Senate of France criminalizing the public denial of the Armenian genocide is not yet a final decision by Paris. So says Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan.
Turkey has so far limited its actions to some demonstrative steps, showing what it can do if French President Nicolas Sarkozy signs the law, which is expected in the coming days.
In their statement following a trilateral meeting in Sochi, hosted by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan confirmed that they are willing to work further on the resolution, on the mechanism proposed by mediators to investigate border incidents and boost humanitarian cooperation.
January 23 is being called a moment of truth in France, a day when the Senate of this country will discuss and vote on the issue of criminalizing the denial of genocide, including the 1915 genocide of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey.
On Saturday, thousands of Turks gathered in Paris to protest against the passage of the law. Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French President Nicolas Sarkozy exchanged letters from which it follows that France finds inappropriate Turkey’s threats in connection with the adoption of the law.
Several clubs aimed at “popularizing the ideas” of Russian premier and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin will be opened in early February in Armenia, the Commonwealth of Independent States Youth Union announced on Thursday.
It seems that the establishment of the Green Party is in the offing in Armenia. Environmental movements are growing stronger, amidst growing awareness that mining is causing considerable damage to nature. Yet, ecologists so far have used only civilian instruments, not trying to get a political foothold.
Last week saw meetings between the leaders of Armenian opposition forces that, while realizing that getting seats in parliament is less likely for them without a combined effort, still have been unable to find common ground for cooperation.