Via CRD / TI Armenia Election Monitor 2007:
Writing for RFE/RL, US-Armenian analyst Richard Giragosian says that the pressure is now on for the May parliamentary election to be considered free and fair by the international community. Moreover, Giragosian argues that the conduct of the vote will determine the country’s place in the region as well as impact on its declared intent to integrate into European structures.
If the ballot proves to be only the latest in a series of flawed and tainted elections, the international response is likely to be both serious and swift. And in that case, the elections will go down in history not just as another lost opportunity for the development of real democracy in Armenia, but as a move toward further regional isolation.
Yet, while most analysts agree with such a reading of the situation, many remain skeptical that the political will to hold democratic elections exists. Instead, critics point to actions aimed at restricting the activities of the opposition which have become a standard feature of elections in Armenia in recent years, and which are seemingly once again being repeated.
Meanwhile, given the posters and banners now on display even though the official campaign period has yet to start, RFE/RL’s Press Review quotes the pro-government Hayastani Hanrapetutyun newspaper as saying that the Yerevan Municipality is already concerned about how such adverts will be removed when the election is over.
Read the full post here.