While the campaign for the May 6 parliamentary elections is actively on in Armenia, analysts and sociologists are trying to figure out whether the line-up of political forces will change in the next National Assembly.
The Gallup Organization conducted a survey in Armenia on April 4-10 showing that 34 percent of respondents are willing to give their votes to the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), with 28 percent ready to cast their ballots for the Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) and only 9 percent for the opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC).
During the campaign ahead of Armenia’s May 6 parliamentary elections for the first time in post-independence years the Karabakh subject has not been a main topic of debate and opponents do not openly accuse each other of “selling” Karabakh, nor that they used the conflict to seize power.
While Armenian political forces are unfolding their campaigns ahead of the May 6 elections to the National Assembly, there is also a growing civil movement that centers not only around environmental issues, but also around the question of the legitimacy of oligarchic property.
The economy has predictably become a major issue for debate in the unfolding parliamentary election campaign. Not only the political forces running on an opposition platform, but even the pro-establishment Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) have been criticizing the government over its handling of economic issues, calling the current economic policies “mediocre”.
Sunday saw the start of a four-week parliamentary “official” election campaign in Armenia.The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), Heritage/Free Democrats and the Communist Party of Armenia were first to launch.
Armenia has seen the establishment of what seem to be rival bodies that are to monitor the course of the upcoming parliamentary elections. One such body has been set up by forces opposed to the main ruling Republican Party of Armenia and the other one by RPA itself. Time will show whether they will help or hinder each other.
A new turn of activity around the Karabakh conflict settlement has started, with its aim appearing to be an intermediately solution to the conflict, which will make it possible to open the borders and some communications in the region.
The South Caucasus region has been visited by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Commissioner for EU Enlargement Stefan Fule. Each of them made a statement that reflects the policies of their countries. Judging by these statements, Russia is interested in the speediest settlement of the Karabakh conflict, and the Western countries advocate the preservation of peace in the region.
The protests of young environmentalists against the construction of kiosks in a central Yerevan park have been going on for nearly two months now. A “senior” group of protesters joined the young campaigners on March 31 – among them some well-known figures in Armenia. The group tried to dismantle the already installed pavilions, but the police cordoned off the constructions and would not let them get closer to them.
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan attending the Nuclear Security Council in Seoul, South Korea, made a speech on Tuesday, stressing that Armenia is making concrete efforts to ensure the control over nuclear security.
He also reassured the world community that Armenia fully safeguards the safe operation of its Soviet-built nuclear reactor at the Metsamor plant, whose life span ends in 2016.