As Armenia prepares for the upcoming local elections in the regions of Ararat, Armavir, Shirak, Lori and Syunik on 9 September, opposition activists were out in the streets of Yerevan protesting against prison sentences against opposition activists.
Four activists with the Armenian National Congress (ANC), Artak Karapetyan, Davit Kiramijyan, Tigran Arakelyan and Sargis Gevorgyan, have received sentences between two and six years imprisonment each. Claiming that these activists have been illegally convicted and sentenced, members of the ANC and other activists demonstrated in front of the Presidential residence in Yerevan last week demanding their immediate release.
Levon Zurabyan, a leader of the opposition ANC told news.am that “we will certainly struggle for Armenia to establish fundamental democratic values. We will achieve this goal by resisting police and even being imprisoned.” Zurabyan assured the press that his political bloc will continue their fight for democracy by using all of their constitutional rights. He made it clear that through four years of action and political activists, the ANC has demonstrated their commitment to democracy in the country.
Outside the capital, a number of regions are preparing for local elections. These will be held on 9 September in Ararat, Armavir, Shirak, Lori, and Syunik. The Central Election Commission (CEC) announced that candidates must submit their registration documents to the CEC by 10 August. The candidates will be announced on 15 August and campaigning will take place between 22 August and 7 September. The Prosperous Armenia Party made public its nomination of current Member of Paliament, Samvel Balasanyan, for the Mayoral race in Gyumri and former Deputy Governor Edik Karakhanyan in Vanadzor City. Though the incumbent mayor of Gyumri has yet to declare his intentions for re-election, deputy head of the Department of Finance of the Shirak Regional Hall will contest the elections in Gyumri for the opposition ARF Dasnaktsutyun Party.
Source: CEW with news.am