© Haykakan Zhamanak
As early as “@ 2007-03-21 09:07:00” Narjan reported that the word “DOD” is charcoaled on the wall of presidential palace in Yerevan, which was promptly cleaned up to spoil the joy of the bloggers, who nevertheless appreciated the efficiency of cleaning works.
Later on 22nd March via CRD / TI Armenia Election Monitor 2007 and JLiving notes we learn, that Armenian newspaper Haykakan Zhamanak has a cover story article about the incident:
HJ says (with picture) that yesterday the President of RA had meeting with security ministers. The meeting is called because expression “DOD” was written on the walls of President’s residency on Bagramian street. It is obvious that the action aimed at stating an association of the President with the head of Prosperous Armenia, Gagik Tsarukayn, whose nickname is DODI GAGO. In addition, Tsarukyan’s picture on Hayastan Trade House was spoiled by red paint. (CRD / TI Armenia Election Monitor 2007)
Explanations for friends from abroad
* “DOD” (slang) translates into Russian as “stupid”, “feeble-minded”, “imbecile”
** Gagik Tsarukyan (nicknamed Dodi Gago) – is an Armenian oligarch, leader of “Prosperous Armenia” party created by him not long ago. Unofficial sources claim that the party is supported by the President of Armenia.
*** “prosperous” (shorthand by author) – is the “Prosperous Armenia”. (JLiving notes)
While bloggers enjoy the paint on presidential walls, The Armenian Odar suffers from the “banner for Bargavats Hayastan (Prosperous Armenia – Dodi Gago’s party) on the building opposite” hers, saying “I guess I’ll have to put up with it at least until the elections on May 12. :-(“.
Yerevan, March 21, 2007 © The Armenian Odar
While only 15 years of democratic development might not be enough to build a vibrant democracy, “…the processes going on in our country are heading towards distortion of values and return to modern feudalism, which might be irreversible…“, speculates Bekaisa at her blog and defines the attitude of indifference by those who understand the negative tendencies, but who “DECIDE to keep silent and refrain from action” as the root of democratization problems in Armenia.
While people like Ahousekeeper in response to Bekaisa‘s post doubt the very necessity of building democracy in Armenia by questioning the validity and quality of democracy in the USA, David_sand, Narjan advocate strongly for democracy.
The discussion is still on, and I suspect, the influence of the Russian model of “sovereign democracy” has a lot to do with the fact, that in Armenia today anybody would be willing to question the importance of building democracy.
Via Kornelij Glas, E-channel:
These days, political forces have been working not only on their electoral programs but also on their electoral mottos. They are so serious about this issue that, for example, RPA has been discussing a few options on and on, without being able to find the final one.
There are as many mottos as the number of political forces participating in the elections, and an Armenian citizen has numerous chances to make a choice if not from among electoral programs but from among mottos.
“Rejoice everybody”, Kornelij Glas exclaims with sarcasm, “from 8th April, with the start of the electoral campaign Tigran Karapetovich is leaving the post of ALM director”. Some background is necessary to understand the sarcasm: Tigran Karapetyan is a controversial Armenian businessman, who established “A.L.M.- Holding” company back in 2000 and launched the nationwide ALM TV before the presidential/parliamentary elections 2003. The TV company is primarily geared towards the rural population of Armenia and the elderly people. The founder Tigran Karapetyan is also chairman of the People’s Party. Check the ArmeniaNow article for a lot more background.
Yet another note from Kornelij Glas is:
PNM (aka HHSh) will run for the elections under the slogan: “Open borders, eternal peace and intergration”. They intend to gain 20% of vote.
Strangely, I have the feeling, that Korneij is being sarcastic here again 🙂
Via CRD / TI Armenia Election Monitor 2007:
[…]Following on from last weekend’s Flash Mob, the Center for Regional Development / Transparency International Armenia will be staging an action in cooperation with Sksel a.
On Sunday, March 25, 2007, Center for Regional Development/Transparency International Armenia, in cooperation with “Sksel a” initiative group, is organizing a joint action against illegalities in the field of urban development in Yerevan City.
There will be a photo exhibition at Komitas Monument (in front of Conservatory) at 1.00pm and a rally from there to Yerevan Municipality starting at 2.00pm (via Liberty Square, Tumanian Street, Mashtots Avenue, Amirian Street, Republic Square, V.Sargsian and Beirut Streets.
Representatives of citizens’ groups, NGOs, political parties, international organizations and media are invited to the event.
JOIN OUR PROTEST!
Next event is going to be this Sunday at 13:00 same place (Komitas statue) and be called “Southern Avenue” ;)), you know why :))
Poster, flyers and information on the way !
Armenian Breaking News reports about the recent agreement signed by the OSCE Office in Yerevan and the Armenian Police which attempts to bring police closer to the public and increase citizens’ confidence in them:
Under the agreement, training sessions, coaching and other activities will be organized to raise Armenian police officers’ awareness about the Council of Europe’s Code of Police Ethics and human rights standards. The agreement also foresees the establishment of several Outreach Police Offices in the Arabkir district.
Aramazd posts an announcement about a new Aylyntranq rally on the “Liberty Square [Azatutyan hraparak], March 23rd, 17:00”, noting, that at this point Aylyntranq are trying to reach a court decision to protect their right for holding the meeting “especially in the Liberty Square”, and that regardless the court proceedings, the meeting will be held there.
It is important to note, that the “Freedom Square” in front of the Yerevan Opera house is an important symbol of the Kharabakh movement 19 years ago, and has sentiments of freedom and national revival associated with it, that the Aylyntranq movement are trying to recapture. As if to stop this from happening, Yerevan Municipality has been denying the movement the right to hold rallies in this memorable location, allocating the square in front of Matenadaran [the Manuscript Museum] instead.
Interestingly, as Kornelij Glas noted in his Election leaflet #5 the rallies are loosing popularity, the last Aylyntranq rally only attracting “100-200 participants”.
CRD / TI Armenia Election Monitor 2007 reports, that “the Election Blogging Guide, co-authored by Solana Larsen, Zephyr Teachout, and Mary Joyce, has been translated into Armenian and is now available for download“, and expresses hope that it will encourage more citizens of Armenia to form their blogs.
Harmick at the Blogrel discusses the political situation in Armenia, speaking about his expectation, that the Bargavach Hayastan will win a “a landslide victory” in the upcoming elections, describing it as “a force that cannot be reckoned with” and speculating, that perhaps there won’t even be a need to fix the elections, as Bargavach Hayastan is so far ahead of any other forces in the political scene.