Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian, who is challenging the official outcome of last month’s presidential election in Armenia, is threatening the European People’s Party (EPP) with a political scandal unless it disavows its chairman’s stance on the Armenian vote.
For the fourth time in the history of independent Armenia its Constitutional Court has rejected opposition claims of fraud in presidential elections.
Thursday’s verdict on the February 18, 2013 vote upheld President Serzh Sargsyan’s reelection, while the general situation with disputed ballots continues to do little to promote people’s confidence in electoral processes.
Today, March 11, marks the start of nominations in the May elections to the Yerevan City Council. The current ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) has declared its strong intention to retain power in the Armenian capital in the face of mounting challenge from its main rival in last year’s presidential election, Prosperous Armenia (PAP).
As a school girl I dreamed about my city one day becoming a really big capital to host presidents of foreign states, as well as ordinary tourists from abroad window shopping large local stores and dining at fancy local restaurants.
The protest movement that has emerged in Armenia after the February 18 presidential election has proclaimed its next target. Representative of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s Supreme Body Armen Rustamyan told the March 5 rally in Yerevan that his party along with the Heritage party of Raffi Hovannisian is going to nominate candidates for the May local elections in Yerevan in order to take power “from below”.
The third interim report of the OSCE/ODIHR on the presidential election in Armenia cast some doubts about the fairness of the vote that is being disputed by the officially defeated opposition candidate. The report published on Saturday noted “implausibly high” voter turnout at many precincts where incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan, the now certified winner of the election, carried the poll. In fact, the leading Western vote-monitoring group hints that Sargsyan won in the mentioned areas due to ballot-stuffing, vote list manipulations and other administrative violations.
March 1, 2008 will remain in the history of Armenia as a day when in pursuit of continued power the authorities fired at demonstrators, killing 10 people. This day is also imprinted in the memory of many people as a day of terror and intimidation. One would think that people would be afraid to take to the street again to defend their right to form government, but the current post-election reality shows they aren’t.
Traditionally in February, when an anniversary of the Khojalu tragedy is marked, Azerbaijan is using its diplomatic and propaganda machine to invite the world attention to the Armenian “atrocities” during the 1992-1994 war in Karabakh.
This year, however, this campaign has been particularly vigorous in view of at least two propaganda failures suffered by Baku in the last several months.