Armenia’s Economy Ranked 41st Freest in The 2014 Index. The Full Story.

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Armenia’s economic freedom score is 68.9 according to the Index of Economic Freedom 2014, making its economy the 41st freest in the world. This annual index and ranking is created by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal in 1995 to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world’s nations. The question is — does it tell us the full story? Continue reading

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Growing up: political dialogue is happening in Armenia

Levon Zurabyan and Davit Harutyunyan

Representatives of Armenia’s ruling coalition and the main opposition force Armenian National Congress (HAK) met on Monday for initial talks, after which the sides expressed readiness to continue with the difficult political dialogue, which could lay the groundwork for a new, more democratic political culture in Armenia.

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Heritage spokesperson: “Large segment of electorate finds it hard to vote for Ter-Petrosian”

“There is a large segment of the electorate that finds it hard to vote for Levon Ter-Petrosian,” Hovsep Khurshudian, the  “Heritage”  spokesman told journalists today, defending his party’s refusal to back former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s candidacy for the post of Yerevan mayor.

“Heritage” (Zharangutyun), which is led by former Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisian, decided late Monday not to form an alliance with Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) for the May 31 municipal elections. Continue reading

“Heritage” Spamming Its Way Into Presidential Elections

As it has been noted earlier on several occasions on this blog, the leader of the opposition Heritage party, Former Foreign Minister of Armenia Raffi Hovhannisyan, has been applying for Armenian citizenship since 1991, however, it was only granted to him in 2001 by President Robert Kocharyan. According to Article 50 of the Armenian Constitution, in order to be eligible to run for president the candidates must be older then thirty five, and must have been citizen of the Republic of Armenia for the preceding ten years, having permanently resided in the Republic for the preceding ten years. Hence, at the moment Raffi hovhannisyan is not eligible to run for president, despite the fact, that Heritage party led by him is one of two opposition factions represented in Parliament and Raffi Hovhannisyan is the opposition figure with highest rating among population according to a recent survey by British ComRes organization.

Many people received an email today from Info Heritage containing MS Word and PDF attachments sent by the Heritage Party. The English translation of the attachments is posted on the E-channel.am information portal, here are some extracts:

Since the proclamation of the Republic of Armenia, Raffi Hovhannisyan has numerously applied for obtaining citizenship of Republic of Armenia. At the same time, he is the first foreign minister of newly-independent Armenia that has served our country with love, decency and loyalty during the years of holding that position and after that.

Raffi Hovhannisyan’s long-term civil aspiration finally turned into reality by Kocharyan’s decree. However, not from 1991 but from 2001.

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Today the RA president has the authority to recover justice and create an equal competitive situation that will have vital significance in the political area of the Republic of Armenia.

This attempt to establish Raffi Hovhannisyan’s right to run for President comes as yet another proof, that the Armenian opposition is far from accepting the First President Levon Ter-Petorossian as the sole leader of opposition forces as noted by the Armenia Election Monitor 2008 blog.

Interestingly, although I support the Heritage cause of gaining citizenship status for its leader from 1991 and thus making him eligible to run for the 2008 Presidential elections (that is one of the reasons why I’m posting this here), I have to note, that this is not the first time I am receiving unsolicited bulk e-mail (SPAM) from the Heritage party. Sending SPAM is illegal in many countries, perhaps it is also illegal in Armenia, and I’d like to warn Heritage, that they are getting dangerously close to irritating people, which, I’m sure is the last thing in their mind when sending these messages.