Who is the next president?

Taregir electronic daily has published the intermediary results of the SMS voting organized to determine voter sympathies of potential Presidential Candidates for February 2008 Presidential Elections in Armenia. So far Levon Ter-Petrossian, the First President of the Third Republic of Armenia is winning an overwhelming (348 votes, next closest is Vazgen Manukyan with 50 and Raffi Hovhannisyan with 32 votes). The results are true for 20.06.07, 19:00, the voting is still in progress.

Democracy Degrading in Armenia in 2006 According to The Freedom House

“Freedom House” international human rights organization released its annual “Nations in Transit” report this week. The title of the report is somewhat misleading however, as the figures and data are all about the 2006. But anyway, here’s a link to the Country Summaries(pdf) and Armenia – Country Report section(pdf).
We can see from the first document, that while Georgia has improved its score from 4.86 to 4.68 (the smaller the figure, the better it is for democracy), Armenia and Azerbaijan have both degraded instead. The democracy score of Armenia has gone down from 5.14 to 5.21, and for Azerbaijan it has moved from 5.93 down to 6.00. Here’s the short summary for Armenia:

Little progress was made on redistributing power amongst government branches. Rather, consolidation of political power in the ruling party and elites paved the way for a continued grip on political and economic power during 2007 parliamentary elections. The government’s failure to investigate allegations of fraud during the 2005 referendum, and its inability to produce legislation putting into effect approved amendments, demonstrated the lack of political will to improve governance in Armenia. While media organizations were partially successful in influencing a change in Armenia’s licensing regime and a new regulatory body, accelerated attacks on journalists suggested an increasingly difficult media environment in the run up to 2007 elections.

Of course we have yet to see what the report will say about the Parliamentary Elections 2007 in Armenia, which were recognized as Free and Fair by a number of observation missions. I guess we will see some positive changes in the figures in Freedom House’s report next year. Let’s prey, that its not just the figures improving, but lives of people here in Armenia. So far I’m rather skeptical…

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