Armenia Blog discusses increased crime rates in Armenia according to the State Prosecutors report, and suggests the reason to be “…greater opportunities in the criminal world and lack of proper response by the police and related agencies…”.
Uzogh discusses the recent comments by ex-speaker of the RA Paliament, head of oppositional party “Rule of Law” Artur Baghdasaryan, who has noted, that there is a “window of hope” that the elecitons 2007 might actually bring about change. However, Uzogh is critical of Artur Baghdasaryan and his comment about the fact that the broadcast airtime for the political campaigning on TV costs 100,000 AMD, which is many times higher then the minimum wage in Armenia. Uzogh suggests, that Artur Baghdasaryan ought to compare the cost of advertising with the cost of fuel, a kilo of potatos, salary of the RA Parliament MPs or Artur Baghdasaryans [implied expensive] suit.
Oneworld Multimedia and Kornelij Glas have updates on Lebanon-born ex-Karabakh Commander, Zhirayr Sefilyan, and his local counterpart, Vardan Malkhasyan, who have been charged with attempts to “attemtps to overthrow Armenian government”, as earlier discussed on this blog here. Both bloggers condemn the moves by the Govermnet to discredit the Karabakh war commander, and Onnik sees connections with the upcoming Parliamentary Elections.
This looks to be a very dangerous, and can only add weight to accusations that Sefilyan’s arrest was political ahead of the May parliamentary election.
Kornelij Glas, Theartbox and Ogostos join the earlier discussion started by the Blogrel about the recent scandal which has caused heated debate in the Armenia society about values of freedom of expression, respect towards the Armenian flag and the adequacy of the reaction by the Armenian ministry of culture to the performance staged by the British dance artist Nigel Charnock, who, as part of his performance in Armenia organized in sign of friendship between the British and Armenian people has danced on top of the British and Armenian flags and as a result was srticly condemned by the RA Minister of Culture Hasmik Poghosian for, as the Minister has formulated, disrespect to the national symbol of Armenia.
“…this election season is extremely critical: it needs to come off clean and fair, most notably so that people have a semblance of restored faith in the system to give them a reason to vote in the VERY crucial presidential elections next year in ’08…”
Just found a new Armenian blog — Armenian Libertarian-Socialist Movement — that looks as though it’s literally just started. Is it an Armenian anarchist or very alternative one? Interesting.
The new blog itself, the Armenian Libertarian-Socialist Movement as it is called makes something of a manifesto about the purposes of the blog:
In this blog we will present the Anarchist and Libertarian-Socialist review and analysis of political developments that take place in Armenia, Caucasus and around the world.
Observer at What Democracy Means is reacting negatively to the recent events and attitude of the Armenian authorities towards the monitoring missions and the overall need to address transparency during the Parliamentary Elections 2007, noting, that two events are particularly disturbing:
a/ “It is noteworthy that Lenmark’s meeting with RA President Robert Kocharyan didn’t take place as “the president wasn’t in Yerevan” in Lenmark’s words.” – as A1plus reported yesterday.
b/ Central Electoral Comission rejected the bid for the “Supreme Committee” parliamentary club NGO to register a local monitoring mission to the elections (via RL/RFE)
Martuni or Bust has an interesting perspective on Bush administration’s budget request for the fiscal year 2008, unveiled on Monday, which calls for $35 million in economic aid to Armenia, sharply down from the 2006 level of $69 million, and which would also cut U.S. aid to the Armenian military by more than 30 percent to $3.3 million. In fact, Ara from Martuni or Bust applauds Bush, and says this move is for once trying to do something to avoid “feeding into corruption” in Armenia, and suggests, that Armenian lobbyist groups – AAA and the ANCA should:
“instead of attacking George, praise him for starting to put an end to the problems that you have been involved in perpetuating since the early 90’s with the welfare you have worked so hard to secure for Armenia, which has made many people lazy, corrupt and added to the country not developing into what I could and should be“.
Ara Manoogian makes his point by concluding:
Now we just have to work on getting all aid cut and make sure the the $236 million MCA funds never makes their way into Armenia.
However, this approach was unique and agnry tones prevail. Blogian for example criticizes Bush plans for Armenian aid cuts aggressively:
America’s so-called president George
aBush has introduced his glorious budget, that like last year’s, gives reduced economic and military aid to Armenia and much more aid to Armenia’s friendly neighbor and the most tolerant country in the world – Oilzerbaijan. Moreover, the Bushdickcandy administration is apparently cutting humanitarian aid to Nagorno-Karabakh.